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Charles Barkley: The Lakers have ‘zero chance’ to win a championship in 2021

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The Lakers were considerable favorites on Sunday night in Game 4 against the Phoenix Suns after winning back-to-back games to take a 2-1 series lead – but everything changed for the defending champions when Anthony Davis exited in the first half with a groin strain.

The Suns went on to win, 100-92, and the series now shifts back to Phoenix. Davis’ status is currently day-to-day, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, and it’s unclear if he will be ready to play on Tuesday for what could be a pivotal Game 5.

After Davis went down, TNT analyst Charles Barkley said that if he does not return to the Lakers’ lineup, the Phoenix Suns will advance to the second round. Even if Davis returns and the Lakers manage to survive against the Suns, Barkley argued that Los Angeles has “zero chance” to repeat as NBA champions.

“You’ve got to go all this time without playing basketball and just going to show up and play basketball? This is what happens, you get hurt. You don’t just jump in to the middle of the playoffs.

AD’s been out for a long time, now you’re trying to play hard basketball. He had a couple good games, but he ain’t had no time to get his rhythm and his conditioning together. Same thing with LeBron. I don’t think LeBron, at his age, can single-handedly whip the Phoenix Suns.

If Anthony Davis does not play again, they’re gonna lose to the Phoenix Suns – but, even if they beat the Suns, they got zero chance of winning the championship. These guys are not in good enough shape. They missed too much of the regular season. And like I say, you don’t just pick up a basketball in the middle of the [playoffs] and beat the good teams.”

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