After Charles Barkley’s eyebrow-raising comments this week that the Portland Trail Blazers will represent the Western Conference in the NBA Finals, critics and commentators are coming in from everywhere to respond.

ESPN’s First Take took a swing at Chuck’s bold prediction on Friday morning ahead of Game Three between the Blazers and Thunder in OKC, where the Blazers have a 2-0 series lead.

Among the comments:

Max Kellerman: “This is ridiculous.  The Blazers have zero-chance to get out of the West.  Like, everyone else on every other team would have to get hurt.  They cannot get past the Warriors.  They cannot get past the Rockets.”

Stephen A: “I’m not going to call it ridiculous.  Again, I don’t think it’s going to happen.  I certainly wouldn’t pick them to beat the Golden State Warriors by any stretch of the imagination.  But when you compare ridiculous to reasonable, I think it’s closer to reasonable than ridiculous because of the manner in which we see CJ and Damian Lillard playing together.”

Will Cain:  “Certainly on that scale from reasonable to ridiculous, it’s much closer to ridiculous.  The Portland Trail Blazers are extremely under rated and their star, Damian Lillard, is criminally under rated.  The Blazers are real.  They can beat everyone in the West except for one team, and that’s the issue.  Ultimately, the reason Charles’ prediction is ridiculous is because of the Warriors.  Not because of the Rockets, and honestly, not because of the Blazers.”

Even Michael Wilbon got in on the takes on ESPN’s “Get Up!” show Friday morning:

“I like Portland.  I don’t know if I like them as much as Charles.  The way Lillard and McCollum are playing, I mean, it’s a dark horse.”

Watch Wilbon’s take here:


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