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Charles Barkley Picks Blazers as a Sleeper Title Contender

Barkley likes Portland’s chances to play spoiler if the team is healthy when play resumes.


The Portland Trail Blazers are a little over a month away from resuming play at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. Portland’s roster is set to receive a major boost if Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins are both ready to suit up — something that Damian Lillard is counting on. If the two big men are ready to go, NBA legend Charles Barkley likes Portland as a possible sleeper title contender, he said during an appearance on ESPN’s “Get Up”:

“The one team in the Western Conference, if they get Nurkic back and Zach Collins, nobody’s going to want to see the Portland Trail Blazers. They got, arguably — other than Klay and Steph — the best backcourt in the NBA. Whiteside’s been playing pretty good all year. But if they get Nurkic and Zach Collins back, nobody’s going to want to see the Portland Trail Blazers.”

ESPN’s Jay Williams, who also appeared on “Get Up” alongside Barkley, then asked the former MVP if he thinks his two sleeper teams (the Blazers and 76ers) could only compete for a title, or actually win the championship. Barkley doubled down on his confidence, saying, “Those two teams could win the championship.”

You can view Barkley’s segment here, or below: