Shaquille O'Neal on the Lakers: 'If they make it to the 8th spot, they will beat Phoenix' - Lakers Daily

Shaquille O’Neal on the Lakers: ‘If they make it to the 8th spot, they will beat Phoenix’

LeBron James Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Not many folks in the NBA world think the Los Angeles Lakers are going to make much noise in the upcoming playoffs.

After all, L.A. has had a miserable 2021-22 season, and there are no guarantees that the squad will even earn a spot in the league’s play-in tournament.

However, one Lakers legend isn’t ready to throw in the towel. Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal believes that the Lakers will upset the Phoenix Suns in the first round of the playoffs if L.A. ends up as the No. 8 seed.

It’s a bold claim by O’Neal, as Phoenix currently holds the best record in the NBA by a wide margin. No team in the league is within striking distance of the Suns’ 59-14 record.

Still, the Suns probably wouldn’t be thrilled about facing the Lakers in the first round of the playoffs. Although L.A. is just 31-42 on the season, it obviously has enough talent to give any playoff team some trouble.

Lakers fans are hoping that their squad will be as healthy as possible by the time the postseason arrives. Injuries haven’t been L.A.’s only issue this season, but having a healthy group going into the playoffs would give the Lakers a solid shot at making a deep run.

The Lakers can’t get too ahead of themselves, however, as they still have work to do in order to lock up a spot in the play-in tournament. As it stands now, the team holds the No. 9 spot in the Western Conference. A big game against the New Orleans Pelicans is next on the Lakers’ schedule.