Charles Barkley 'guarantee' Suns' victories over Pelicans
April 19, 2022
Charles Barkley is a Hall of Famer and also a legend for his great skills near the rim. It's been a long time since the last time he played in the NBA. Now, after retiring, Barkley's working as an NBA analyst for NBA on Turner Network Television.
Recently on TNT, Barkley and Shaquille O'Neal made a bold prediction about the first-round matchup between the New Orleans Pelicans and Phoenix Suns.
"Sometimes you got all these fools on television like listen," Barkley said. The Suns are gonna beat the Pelicans. ... You always think that you have a chance to win, but I don’t care who wins. The Suns are going to whoop these boys, plain and simple. Guaranteed…. guaranteed!"
The Suns finished the 2021-22 regular season with a league-best 64-18 record, outpacing the rest of the league. The final score was 110-99 in favor of the Suns at the end of regulation.
'Guaranteed' win for Suns
There have never been more wins in the Suns' history than this one.
The Suns made a terrific start to their postseason journey in 2022. It should not be too difficult for Phoenix to take on the eighth-seeded Pelicans in the first round of the playoffs. This was the case in the first game of the series, where veteran point guard Chris Paul put in an outstanding performance.
“Classic Chris,” Suns coach Monty Williams said.
The fact that the Suns dominated for the majority of the game does not mean they did not need Paul's strong finish. By the end of the third quarter, the Pelicans had overcome their sluggish start and narrowed a 23-point deficit to 79-71.
While Devin Booker had a game-high 25 points, eight assists, and four rebounds, Paul tallied 30 points, 10 assists, and seven rebounds. All of the rest of the Suns' players were average at best, and even worse, they were ineffective on both sides of the court. However, Barkley brought in a whole different perspective.
Despite the buzz surrounding the Pelicans, Barkley said they have little chance against the Paul and Booker-led Suns. He claimed that the Suns would crush the Zion Williamson-less Pelicans.
The Pelicans were restricted to a dismal 37.9 percent field-goal percentage by the Suns' defense. The Suns, on the other hand, hit 53.8 percent from the field, including a fourth-quarter shooting masterclass. Brandon Ingram, CJ McCollum, and Jonas Valanciunas combined for 22-of-63 shooting from the field for the Pelicans.
Reputation of Barkley’s prediction
Barkley has had a successful year so far, having correctly predicted game results for the Kansas Jayhawks and the Milwaukee Bucks. Until the Suns play their last six games, nothing can be said or confirmed, however. This gives the Nuggets plenty of time to turn things around and put themselves in a position to win.
Even though Williamson is currently benched, there is a chance he might return to the squad and play. The management and Williamson are at loggerheads over his health. The Suns will host the Pelicans at Footprint Center on Tuesday, April 19 for Game 2.