Charles Barkley Explains Why Los Angeles Lakers Desperately Need To Beat Golden State Warriors in the Play-In Game

Published 05/19/2021, 8:12 AM EDT
Jan 18, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) defends Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) during the second quarter at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports


The Los Angeles Lakers take on the Golden State Warriors in the play-in game tonight. The LeBron James – Stephen Curry rivalry takes another turn on a brand new stage, with both players vying for the seventh seed in the playoffs. This game is the standout fixture from the play-in tournament this season. Both teams are looking to secure their spot in the playoffs. But Charles Barkley believes the Lakers are the favorites against the Dubs.

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Chuck says Los Angeles Lakers need to win

NBA legend Charles Barkley spoke on ‘Inside the NBA’ about the Los Angeles Lakers vs Golden State Warriors play-in game. He believes that the Lakers are favorites because they will be desperate to avoid the Utah Jazz as the eighth seed. Understanding the difficulty against the Jazz, the Lakers will be ready to get the win and face the Phoenix Suns in the playoffs.

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Barkley said, “Easy game for the Lakers… If they have to play Utah, they are not going to win. If the Lakers play Utah, they are going to lose. I hate to say this, it’s a much easier match-up for them to play the Phoenix Suns. That’s why they’re going to win that game. I’m sick of this Utah Jazz slander. But I’m telling you, the Lakers could not beat the Jazz in the first round of the playoffs. They are going to win, so they will play my Phoenix Suns in the first round of the playoffs. They know it is a must-win for the Lakers.”

Lakers should be wary of the Warriors

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The Lakers tried until the final game of the NBA season to try to avoid the play-in spot. They went toe-to-toe with the Portland Trail Blazers and pushed them to the limit. However, the Trail Blazers had the same record as the Lakers, but crucially, they held the tie-breaker advantage due to their record against the Lakers. The Lakers then accepted their seventh seed, going against the dangerous Golden State Warriors in the play-in tournament.

Jan 18, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) is sandwiched between Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) and Los Angeles Lakers guard Dennis Schroder (17) during the third quarter at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports | Courtesy: Reuters
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The Los Angeles Lakers will be ready to go all-out against the Warriors during the game. Stephen Curry has been on fire in recent weeks. And in a one-game situation, Curry and the Warriors are capable of defeating anyone. So the Lakers need to be worried about the possibility of a Curry special. But if LeBron James and Anthony Davis can play at their best, LA will feel confident about their chances.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1313 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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