“Gonna be full of bad takes and humor”: Fans go wild as Stephen A. Smith and Charles Barkley are named pundits for NBA In-Season Tournament
The NBA In-Season Tournament is down to the final four teams. With the inaugural NBA Cup on the line, the remaining four teams will give their best to win and make history. The LA Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans meet in the West on Thursday, while the Milwaukee Bucks and Indiana Pacers meet in the East. The broadcasting lineup for the semifinal games had been decided before the game.
Much to the surprise of fans, it was outspoken TV personality Stephen A. Smith who was tapped to handle coverage for the evening. In addition, Inside the NBA's own Charles Barkley will be joining Smith to handle coverage for the event.
Bleacher Report broke the news while also posting a clip of Stephen A. Smith and Charles Barkley side-by-side over Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal. The clip comes from the Kobe and Shaq era in LA, which has been popularized in a meme format over the years.
Immediately, fans were quick to react to the news that the duo would be calling the NBA In-Season Tournament matchup. With Smith known for his hot takes and Barkley known for his humor, the NBA In-Season Tournament semifinal matchups are sure to deliver some memorable moments.
Looking at the NBA In-Season Tournament semifinal matchups and the inaugural NBA Cup odds
As previously mentioned, the NBA In-Season Tournament semifinal matchups will take place on ESPN tonight. The first game between the Indiana Pacers and Milwaukee Bucks will take place at 2 p.m. PT (5 p.m. ET), given that the teams are in Vegas.
After the first semifinal matchup, the LA Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans will compete in a highly anticipated Western Conference matchup. That game will tip off at 6 p.m. PT (9 p.m. ET), with TNT handling broadcasting duties for the second game.
The Eastern Conference matchup between the Indiana Pacers and the Milwaukee Bucks will see the two undefeated teams battle it out for a finals spot. After both going 4-0 through the group play rounds, both teams captured big wins in the quarterfinal matchups.
Out west, the Lakers, who went unbeaten in group play, will face the New Orleans Pelicans, who have only lost once in the entire tournament. The major question now is who will rise to the occasion, with the stakes at an all-time high.
Currently, the Milwaukee Bucks sit as the favorites to win it all on FanDuel Sportsbook with +160 odds, while the LA Lakers sit in second with +230 odds. With the two teams potentially on a collision course, only time will tell how things play out.