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Charles Barkley And Shaquille O’Neal Predicted The Lakers Wouldn’t Make The Play-In Tournament Last Month: “The Pelicans Will Make The Play-In Games And The Lakers Will Not!”

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os Angeles Lakers are officially out of play-in contention after losing to the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday. A win from the San Antonio Spurs meant that the Purple and Gold no longer have a chance to play in the young mini-tournament. 

This is a big disappointment for the entire Lakers Nation, who were considered championship favorites before the start of the 2021/22 NBA season. With the addition of Russell Westbrook and many other veterans, the Lakers looked great on paper, but the development of the season told otherwise. 

Everybody expected them to turn things around at some point in the season, but the Lakers kept struggling, showing they weren’t legit contenders. Some said injuries were to blame, but others pointed out that the fit between LeBron James and Russell Westbrook wasn’t good. 

Whatever it was, it was clear that the Lakers were en route to failure. Almost one month ago, Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal predicted that the Lakers would miss the play-in tournament at the hands of the New Orleans Pelicans. During a March 11 edition of NBA on TNT, the two former players gave their verdict on the Lakers season. 

“The Pelicans will make the play-in games and the Lakers will not!” Shaq said. 

“Put me on that one too Ernie!” Charles Barkley also chimed in.

Ernie Johnson said that the Pelicans could overtake the Lakers, they could still play in the play-in, but Barkley went further and said they would drop out of the play-in spots. 

“What if they go to 11th?” Barkley replied. 

Almost exactly one month, this prediction came true. The Lakers entered a terrible losing streak, dropping more and more positions, ultimately getting to the 11th seed in the West. After a back and forth with the San Antonio Spurs, the Texans got the edge over the Lakers, eliminating them from play-in contention on Tuesday night. 

The 2021/22 Lakers must be one of the biggest disappointments in NBA history. They were clear-cut favorites to win the title before the season and now are a terrible team that couldn’t win to save their lives. 

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