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Remote Patrol: Charles Barkley only 'Inside the NBA' analyst picking Thunder over Spurs

Charles Barkley said the Thunder is “night and day” better with Serge Ibaka back in the lineup. “They beat them 4-zip for a reason,” Barkley said about the Thunder’s regular-season record against the Spurs.
by Mel Bracht Modified: May 27, 2014 at 11:59 pm •  Published: May 27, 2014

Despite another dominating win by the Thunder to even the Western Conference Finals at 2-2, only TNT studio analyst Charles Barkley is picking the Thunder to win the series. Studio analysts Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal are sticking with the Spurs, their original choices.

Barkley said the Thunder is “night and day” better with Serge Ibaka back in the lineup. “They beat them 4-zip for a reason,” Barkley said about the Thunder’s regular-season record against the Spurs.

He also noted the Thunder “has two nuclear weapons that can go off any given Sunday.”

O’Neal said the Spurs would prevail because of their home court advantage.

Smith said the Spurs’ two first two wins at home likely “got them over the hump” and they play well at home, especially the reserves.

DUO PRAISED

The commentators had high praise for the “nuclear weapons” in Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant.

Smith said, “I thought overall this was the best game that they had played together.”

Barkley said: “They led this game with their energy tonight. It was beautiful to watch.”

Fox Sports Oklahoma studio analyst Nancy Lieberman said: “It might have been the best game of Russell Westbrook’s career. I though his floor management was absolutely priceless.”

However, Barkley criticized Thunder coach Scott Brooks for playing his stars “too many minutes” in a lopsided game and thought it might have an adverse effect on them in Game 5 on Thursday night.

GAME CREW RAVES

Game analyst Steve Kerr, the new coach of the Golden State Warriors, ranked Westbrook as the second-best player on the planet behind LeBron James: “When you see the explosiveness, it stands out in a league of incredible athletes. He’s like off the charts, this guy.”

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by Mel Bracht
Copy Editor, Sports Media
Mel Bracht is a copy editor on the presentation desk and also covers sports media. A 1978 graduate of Indiana University, Bracht has been a print journalist for 34 years. He started his career as sports editor of the Rensselaer (Ind.) Republican...
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