Murray called out some of the “Inside the NBA” crew after the Nuggets stunned the Los Angeles Clippers and came back from a 3-1 series deficit to advance to the Western Conference finals. Barkley, who was mentioned by name, answered the call by guaranteeing a Los Angeles Lakers victory in five games against Denver.
But we know that could actually mean more for the Nuggets.
Murray calls out NBA on TNT analysts
Murray called out the crew after dropping 40 points in the 104-89 Game 7 victory earlier this week. The team also came back from a 3-1 series deficit in the first round of the playoffs.
“You got Shaq, you got Charles (Barkley), I think Zach Lowe his name, I don’t even know,” Murray said, via the Denver Post. “Stephen A. (Smith), all y’all better start giving this team some (darn) respect. Because we put in the work. We got a resilient team. We shouldn’t have been down 3-1 but to come back from 3-1 against the Clippers is a big achievement so it’s fun just to change that narrative.”
Coach Michael Malone also seemed to use the motivation ahead of Game 7 by citing ESPN experts who had the Clippers to win the series way before that point. And Nikola Jokic told reporters “nobody wants us here. Nobody thinks we can do something.”
Barkley responds to Murray with Lakers guarantee
Barkley is ready to bet “every dime I got in the world” on the Lakers this series.
“If they want some motivation, I’m guar-an-teeing the Lakers gonna kick they a-- ,” Barkley said ahead of Game 1 on Friday night.
Chuck has made his WCF "GUARANTEE" 🤣 pic.twitter.com/3jv4IxdJCb— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) September 19, 2020
Barkley later gave a five-game guarantee, albeit after some intense thought on if he should do it. Ernie Johnson clapped back with a “so we know this one’s going at least six.”
"I'll tell you what America, Lakers in 5!"— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) September 19, 2020
Lakers fans right now: 😅 pic.twitter.com/YmO8VPfITn
The Lakers won Game 1, 126-111, by holding their double-digit lead throughout the second half. And Barkley already has the broom broken out.
Barkley’s guarantee winning rate is abysmal
But Barkley’s guarantees haven’t gone well this postseason. There are stats for everything these days and the TNT graphics team had the number ready to go. He’s only hit 13.7 percent.
So maybe it was giving the Nuggets some respect?
Shaq: Beat the Lakers and get my respect
Shaquille O’Neal was also named by Murray and noted what his father said to him about respect. You have to earn it, and for O’Neal the Nuggets aren’t quite there yet.
For his part, LeBron James said his respect for the Nuggets is “out of this world.” Game 2 is Sunday at 7:30 p.m. ET.
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