5 Players Charles Barkley Has Punked This Postseason
Their is no middle ground when discussing your feelings of Charles Barkley's analysis.
You either love him or you hate him. Most of the time it depends on which team you favor because Barkley's analysis can be highly subjective against particular teams. For example, Barkley spent a great deal of last year criticizing the Miami Heat and their newly formed "Big Three."
It was clear to see what Heat fans thought of Barkley when he was part of a pregame show outside of the American Airlines Arena. That's the kind of effect Barkley can have when he's given a microphone and an Emmy award-winning show. The more you watch Barkley, the more your love or hate for him grows.
Chances are the San Antonio women don't approve of his comments, either.
He's one of the most influential analysts in sports and we've compiled a group of five player that he has ridden on throughout this year's postseason.
From floppers to underachievers, no player is safe from the verbal tongue-lashing dished out by the former 1993 NBA MVP.
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Saying Charles Barkley is solely criticizing LeBron James wouldn't be fair to the rest of James' teammates.
Barkley has continued his run of criticizing the Heat this postseason by attacking their lack of bench play and their concerns over a few recent flagrant fouls.
When speaking on the Heat's bench, Barkley stated:
“I didn’t even know they had a bench. If Miami’s bench plays well against you, that lets you know you have issues. That’s one of their weaknesses."
This came after the Heat bench played a large role during one of their victories over the New York Knicks. Barkley isn't wrong on this assumption, but he also isn't right. Defensively, the Heat have one of the top benches in the league with Shane Battier, Udonis Haslem, Joel Anthony and Ronny Turiaf leading the way.
On offense, Barkley does have a point; the Heat have lost numerous games in the regular and postseason because of the lack of production from the bench. With the way guys like Battier, Haslem and Mike Miller were struggling with their jump shots, the bench didn't have as great an effect as the Heat would have liked.
This hasn't been the only criticism of Barkley's as he also made this statement regarding LeBron James and the rest of the team's thoughts on the Pacers' supposedly dirty play:
“The Heat is a whiny bunch. Nobody hot dogs more than the Heat. It annoys the hell out of me.”
The Heat do have a few players that talk to the officials way too much, but they're certainly not whining over anything. Indiana has played the Heat extremely physical all series long and it has been the Pacers who have initiated many of the altercations.
Barkley wanted the Heat to stop talking, so they decided to answer back with forearms.
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It's no secret that Charles Barkley, as well as the entire NBA, has become a firm opponent against flopping.
Specifically the flopping of Blake Griffin, which has been at the forefront of this "stop the flop" campaign. Griffin has become a notorious flopper and it's becoming more and more prevalent game-by-game. The mainstream love he received from fans last year has taken a huge hit because of his constant diving.
Griffin's flopping was prevalent in the regular season; it only got worse come postseason time when his L.A. Clippers took on a physical Memphis Grizzlies team.
Barkley was one to take notice and made a lengthy speech on Griffin's flopping and how it has affected his popularity:
"He made me so mad last night. I called him Vince Carter last night. Because Vince Carter was a great player — we used to joke he got shot like three times a game. I called him that on the show last night, I said ‘Blake Griffin has turned into a new Vince Carter.’ … He gets shot three or four times a game and just goes down. He better stop that flopping. He gotta stop that, because you can tell all these players are taking cheap shots because he’s getting to be annoying with all the flopping.”
Can't say that Barkley is too wrong with that assumption. Teams are going after him not only because they're tired of getting dunked on, but also because of the frustration he causes due to his ability to sell fouls.
The old-school players are extremely displeased with the flopping that is becoming more and more noticeable. What was believed to be utilized by the international players has now transcended to some of the league's most popular players including Griffin, Chris Paul and LeBron James.
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Even though the shorthanded New York Knicks managed to steal a game from the Miami Heat in their first-round series, they were still met with plenty of criticism following the conclusion.
Analysts all took their parting shots at the Knicks, who were met with plenty of criticism concerning whether or not they actually worked as a team. It's become well-known how the team hasn't played nearly as well as they anticipated and a lot of the blame has fallen upon Carmelo Anthony.
The "Linsanity" craze came to an end shortly after Anthony's return from injury and the pressure on Carmelo only grew from there. Carmelo responded well in the month of April—he averaged more points than any other player in the final month of the regular season—but had a great deal of trouble in the postseason when guarded by LeBron James and Shane Battier.
Prior to the series, Barkley had this to say about the Knicks' chances of beating the Heat:
"It doesn't match. It's not going to match," Barkley said. "And they're going to get swept 4-0. ... The Knicks do not have a good team, period."
Ouch. Barkley was a bit brash on his comments directed towards Carmelo, but he was saying what many of Anthony's critics were thinking. 'Melo had a lot of trouble involving Amar'e Stoudemire in the offense and it persisted into the postseason, where Amar'e continued his underwhelming play. Anthony was given the title of team facilitator at the beginning of the year, but couldn't do enough to get his All-Star teammate consistently involved.
Anthony and J.R. Smith took over half of the team's shots in their series with the Heat.
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This is a story that needs to survive generations long after all of us are dead and gone.
Our children's children must know the story of Amar'e Stoudemire's postseason hand injury. We have seen athletes hurt themselves in a variety of ways—former Redskins quarterback Gus Frerotte headbutt a wall and hurt his neck—but the storyline of how Stoudemire hurt himself is too unique to simply sweep under the rug.
Following the Knicks' Game 2 loss to the Miami Heat, Stoudemire, who finished with 18 points, punched the glass case that held a fire extinguisher on his way back to the Knicks locker room. Amar'e managed to break the case, but his hand ended up looking like a baseball as a result.
Stoudemire missed Game 3, which the Knicks would end up losing. With his team down 3-0, Amar'e would have a strong showing in a Game 4 win, but would deal with foul trouble throughout Game 5 to effectively end a disappointing 2011-'12 campaign.
Charles Barkley chimed in on the situation:
"It was a really stupid thing to do, but they were not going to beat the Miami Heat either way."
Sometimes you can let your emotions get the best of you, which leads to silly injuries like the one Stoudemire suffered. However, Amar'e is the second best player on his team and the Knicks truly could have used him in Game 3 to have a fighting chance to come back in the series. Alas, the Knicks managed only 70 points and went down 3-0, essentially ending their hopes of a successful playoff run.
With all of the injuries and frustration piling up, the Knicks didn't stand a chance.
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Another year met with disappointing results, the Los Angeles Lakers were reduced to playing the blame game following their defeat at the hands of Oklahoma City.
However, a few weeks prior during the Lakers series against the Denver Nuggets, Charles Barkley pointed the finger at All-Star center Andrew Bynum as a reason of the Lakers' woes. Bynum and Gasol became a part of many discussions near the end of the series because of their inability to figure out the adjustments the Nuggets made to their defense.
Bynum scored over 20 points only one time during the series and scored lower than 15 points twice (he scored 11 in the Game 6 blowout loss). He made up for the lack of scoring with impressive rebounding and defense, but so much more was expected out of him on the offensive end after a breakout regular season.
Barkley noticed something unusual in Bynum's game that frustrated the analyst:
“I hated playing with guys that when they don’t score…they drift,” the TNT analyst said Saturday. “When they take the ball out of Andrew Bynum's hands, he gets frustrated…and he drifts.”
Barkley continued on his frustration with Bynum's play:
"You don’t get much better after seven years,” he added later. “You are the player you are going to be after seven years.”
That second point is a little ridiculous considering Bynum has dealt with injuries throughout his career. The 2011-'12 season was only the second year of his career that he was completely healthy and he responded well averaging 18 points, 13 boards and two blocks per.
However, the first point is absolutely correct. Bynum does get extremely frustrated when things aren't going his way, which sometimes spills over into plays like these. As a result, Bynum drifts and won't play up to his full potential. .