Charles Barkley guaranteed the Clippers to beat the Denver Nuggets last season, but this year his tone isn't quite the same.
"They're pretenders," Barkley said on Inside the NBA. He doesn't believe the LA Clippers are better than the Lakers, Nuggets, or Jazz. Barkley took it one step further, completely attacking the organization's history.
Barkley's vote of confidence for a team is oftentimes considered a kiss of death. Whenever he guarantees a team to win, usually the exact opposite happens. While he may be bashing the Clippers, maybe it could seen as fortuitous to avoid his jinx.
While Charles had a negative tone, Shaq had much more of a positive one.
Defeating the Phoenix Suns was a great step for the LA Clippers. The team has won 9 out of the last 11 games and is very close to the 2nd seed. However, they're equally as close to the 4th seed. They face the Houston Rockets in a back-to-back and can't afford to slip up against one of the easiest teams they'll face.