The Los Angeles Lakers aren't in a good position right now. After losing Game 4 of their first-round playoffs series against the Phoenix Suns, the purple and gold don't look like favorites to win the matchup and advance to the next round.
Moreover, Anthony Davis is unlikely to play in Game 5 of the series, making things harder for them. This situation has gotten worse in recent hours, and not many people believe they are still favorites to win the NBA championship.
For instance, Charles Barkley claimed that they have 'zero chances' of defending their title in this campaign. Why? They have missed a lot of time due to injuries, and it's hard for them to reach their best level in the middle of the playoffs.
Chuck said that Davis' absence will be key for the Lakers. If he doesn't return to the lineup, the Suns are headed to the second round (5:57).
“You’ve got to go all this time without playing basketball and just going to show up and play basketball? This is what happens, you get hurt. You don’t just jump in to the middle of the playoffs," Chuck said, via USA Today Sports.
AD’s been out for a long time, now you’re trying to play hard basketball. He had a couple good games, but he ain’t had no time to get his rhythm and his conditioning together. Same thing with LeBron. I don’t think LeBron, at his age, can single-handedly whip the Phoenix Suns.
If Anthony Davis does not play again, they’re gonna lose to the Phoenix Suns – but, even if they beat the Suns, they got zero chance of winning the championship. These guys are not in good enough shape. They missed too much of the regular season. And like I say, you don’t just pick up a basketball in the middle of the [playoffs] and beat the good teams.”
This is a complex situation for Frank Vogel's team. In Games 2 and 3 of the series, they looked unstoppable but things have changed in hours. They will visit the Suns on Tuesday, trying to surprise Chris Paul and co. and winning a game that will be crucial to define this series.