Charles Barkley 'in shock' watching Dallas Mavericks obliterate Phoenix Suns in Game 7

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Charles Barkley picked his Phoenix Suns to win Sunday’s Game 7 over the Dallas Mavericks during TNT’s pregame show.

At halftime, he was at a loss seeing the top overall seed down, 57-27, to the fourth-seeded Mavs before a sellout of crowd of 17,071 watching in a collective disbelief at Footprint Center.

“I’m in shock,” Barkley said. “I never, nobody saw this coming. I mean, uh, I will give (Mavs coach) Jason Kidd a lot of credit. He doubled (Devin) Booker the whole time. He said, ‘hey, we’re not going to let Booker get going.”

Barkley later said this was “embarrassing” for the Suns.

“I don’t mind you losing, but you can’t be down that many points at halftime,” added Barkley, who is arguably the greatest Suns player ever.

By the time TNT returned to the studios to recap Phoenix’s 123-90 loss in the Western Conference semifinals, Barkley was left to state the obvious at the start of the highlight reel.

“This thing was a blowout from the beginning,” Barkley said.

After the highlights, TNT’s Inside the NBA host Ernie Johnson turned to Shaquille O’Neal, who was wearing a black cowboy hat, and asked what happened to the Suns.

“I’m not going to bash them,” O’Neal said. “They wanted to play, they were trying real hard, but every now and then, Ernie, even for us great players, it just happens.”

O’Neal proceeded to look at the stat sheet and point out the Mavs shot 56.8% from the field, going 19-of-39 from 3 (48.7%).

May 15, 2022; Phoenix, Ariz. U.S.; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) spins on Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges (25) during game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals at Footprint Center.
May 15, 2022; Phoenix, Ariz. U.S.; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) spins on Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges (25) during game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals at Footprint Center.

“I know (Suns coach Monty Williams) is saying, ‘I didn’t have them prepared for Game 7,’ you’ve got to get yourself prepared as a player and sometimes, every now and then, those nights happen," O'Neal said. "I’ve had many of those nights.”

O’Neal concluded by saying this loss will sting the Suns because they had championship aspirations after reaching the finals last season and blowing a 2-0 series lead to the Milwaukee Bucks.

“Just because you made it to the finals, don’t mean you’re going to make it back again,” he said. “And this game is going to hurt them all summer, all summer and now when you’re a good team, you can possibly make it to the finals and have a chance to win a championship and you don’t make it, Ernie, it just hurts all summer because now you got to start all over next year.”

Have opinion about current state of the Suns? Reach Suns Insider Duane Rankin at dmrankin@gannett.com or contact him at 480-787-1240. Follow him on Twitter at @DuaneRankin.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Charles Barkley 'in shock' watching Mavericks smash Suns in Game 7