Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal disagree on the Lakers’ playoff fortunes

Below is a sampling of sentiments echoed by TNT analysts Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal during the telecast of the Lakers’ 122-105 loss Tuesday to the Oklahoma City Thunder. As the Lakers have shown for most of the season, it’s not a pretty picture.

Barkley: They aren’t going to make the playoffs. They are 1-9 against the top four teams in the Western Conference. Those are the teams they’re going to have to beat going down the stretch and they’re not going to beat those teams.”

O’Neal: “They are playing better and I think they probably will make the playoffs. If they can slide up to No. 6 [in the Western Conference] and face the Clippers in first round, maybe they can beat them and gain some momentum. If they get the No. 8 or No. 7 [seed] they’re definitely going home [after the first round].”

Kenny Smith on the Lakers style of play: “There’s no continuity. There’s nothing that would indicate you to say that this team – even if they made the playoffs – could make any kind of dent.”

O’Neal: “If I was in the locker room I would try to change the culture. You don’t want to just get into the playoffs at the No. 8 or No. 7 [seed] and get embarrassed like they did tonight.”


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Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at

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