DALLAS - It’s impossible to know when NBA analyst Charles Barkley - infamous for sometimes doing studio analysis of a game that he isn’t actually watching - is issuing a deep thought or a comedic one.
But Dallas Mavs fans surely aren’t laughing at this one.
“The Mavs are in trouble,” Barkley said via NBA on TNT. "The Mavs are not going to win another game. They’re going to lose four straight.''
Dallas, of course, began this Round 1 NBA Playoffs series at Los Angeles, gaining a 2-0 edge over the Clippers before falling apart in two weekend home games, allowing the series to be tied at 2-all.
Barley’s prediction has been characterized as a “bold guarantee,” but really, it is something less than that, in two ways.
One, a “guarantee” from an observer is meaningless. If wrong, Chuck can always laugh it off - and is almost “guaranteed” to do so entertainingly.
Two, Luka Doncic and the Mavs have spend an otherwise generally successful season being poor on the road and are oddsmakers’ underdogs against the Clippers at Staples Center for Game 5 on Wednesday and for Game 6 in Dallas after that. Indeed, Dallas has been the underdog to the Clippers and star Kawhi Leonard going into each of the four previous games.
“The Clippers are front-runners,” Barkley said. “Dallas is in trouble right now.”
With Doncic (neck strain) not at 100 percent and the rest of the Mavs’ supporting cast doing too little supporting of late, … yes. The Mavs are in trouble. Unless they win Game 5, at which time, in the way viewpoints ebb and flow with postseason wins and losses, it will be the Clippers who are in trouble.