The team has certainly struggled to find their team chemistry after the addition of Russell Westbrook last offseason. And it hasn’t helped that star forward Anthony Davis has been out for the team since injuring his ankle on February 16th. This is the second time this season that Davis has missed a large number of games for the team, and the eight-time All-Star has only played in 37 games on the year.
The Lakers are currently looking like they will be playing in the play-in tournament (for the seventh through 10th seeds in each conference) this postseason. But they are only two games above the 11th-seeded San Antonio Spurs, who are on the outside looking in.
Should Los Angeles make the play-in tournament, they will need to play their way into the playoffs. And if they get to the playoffs proper, that might see them facing the Phoenix Suns, who have by far the best record in the NBA with a 59-14 mark on the year.
Former Laker, NBA on TNT analyst, and NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal discussed Los Angeles’ chances if they were to face the Suns this postseason on Wednesday. And, despite also being a former Suns’ player, O’Neal (seen above at NBA All-Star Saturday Night in 2020) had a lot of praise for the Lakers’ chances against them.
“I am very disappointed in my Lakers, a lot of people are. I doubt they even make the play-in game. But if they do, they definitely have to win and they will face Phoenix in the first round,” said O’Neal on Turner’s The Big Podcast. “If they make it to the eighth spot, they will beat Phoenix.”
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) March 23, 2022
These comments have certainly gotten the NBA talking, with many disagreeing with O’Neal and calling this a wild take seeing how poorly the Lakers have underperformed this season.
— Eddie A Johnson (@Jumpshot8) March 24, 2022
And to think that @SHAQ said that if the Lakers get past the play in game they would beat the Suns in the first round 😂😂😂😂😂- Shaq I got $250 to charity of your choice if you match that the Lakers would not win more than one game against Phoenix in a playoff series.
— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) March 24, 2022
Has Shaq watched any Suns games? Or any Lakers games for that matter. https://t.co/StE5UPZXx5
— Alexander Alan (@Alex_The_218) March 24, 2022
It is worth noting that Los Angeles will likely get Anthony Davis back by the play-in tournament. And that would have a huge impact on the team.
Regardless, it seems like an insane take to think that the Lakers could just figure out all of their issues in the span of a couple of weeks. Especially when that’s to win a series against a team like the Suns that have been looking like the best team in the NBA this season.
[NBA on TNT; photo from Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports]