DALLAS - Oftentimes, on the set of TNT' wildly popular studio show "Inside The NBA,'' it's difficult to tell when two of the hosts, Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal, are trying to offer serious analysis or just trying to draw guffaws.
If Shaq in particular was trying to do either in his Thursday night dissection of the Dallas Mavericks' problems, he failed at both.
"The Mavs need somebody who is just as good as Luka,'' Shaq said during the pregame broadcast of the Golden State Warriors' visit to the AAC, "but a little bit better. Like Bradley Beal or Russell Westbrook.''
If Shaq is trying to simply get attention here, the NBA icon has achieved his goal. Of course, he had help from the rest of the panel, including the usually more sober Kenny Smith.
A sampling of their work during what became an almost-unwatchable 147-116 Dallas loss, yet another in a series of disappointments:
Mavs Star Luka Doncic MVP Favorite Again: Will He Do It This Time?
Luka Doncic could be primed for his best season yet with the Dallas Mavericks.
Season Prediction: ‘Replicating’ Success Not Easy for Mavs
Will an improved Luka Doncic help the Dallas Mavericks repeat a 50-win performance or does the loss of Jalen Brunson doom the team's chances?
Mavs' Best-Kept Secret on Roster for 2022-23 Season?
Who is the Dallas Mavericks' best-kept secret on the roster ahead of the 2022-23 NBA season?
*The guys could not quite figure out how to pronounce the surname of Luka Doncic; "Donchich'' seemed a popular choice.
*Barkley insisted that if Kristaps Porzingis doesn't get "20 post-ups per game,'' coach Rick Carlisle and staff will be proven incompetent.
*Smith suggested Dallas needs a ball-handler ... “like Rondo.”
*And again, Luka, Beal and Westbrook knotted into a weird and ignorant rant, given the fact that a) Westbrook is in no way on Doncic's level, b) if having two "dogs'' on this plane is the answer, why are the Wizards so awful? and c) believe me, if the Mavs could trade for Beal, they most definitely would.
Sadly, it's not that easy.
Maybe MFFL's are a bit irritated over Dallas' horrendous losing skid, and the fact the Mavs currently rank 14th in the West standings with a 9-14 start. Maybe we should just ignore TNT's silliness. Maybe we should just experience a good laugh ... which might feel better than experiencing a good cry.
CONTINUE READING: Podcast: Mavs Embarrassed By Warriors; Something's Gotta Give