Klay Thompson

Klay is primary reason Warriors are Shaq's dark horse playoff pick

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It never is wise to count the Warriors out of a deep NBA playoff run. Especially while Steph Curry still is playing.

However, per Shaquille O'Neal, Curry is not the reason why Golden State could be a dangerous team in the playoffs should they advance through the Western Conference Play-In Tournament.

On the latest episode of "The Big Podcast with Shaq," the Hall of Famer was asked by co-host Adam Lefkoe who his dark horse NBA playoff pick is.

"Golden State Warriors ... they're going to beat the Lakers if they play against the Lakers in the play-in," Shaq said.

"And then if they do that, they probably play either the Thunder or the Timberwolves," Lefkoe responded.

"And they can beat 'em," Shaq added.

While it's hard to bet against a Curry-led team in the playoffs, Shaq believes it's not just the two-time MVP that makes the Warriors dangerous this postseason.

"But it's not (Curry). (It's) Klay Thompson. And then for a guy like that, all I need is two games," Shaq explained. "Because everybody's going to do what they do, but if you get Klay to give me two games ... and then what I know and respect about Klay, he ain't no punk.

"So dogs, when you have them in a corner they'll (whimper), but when they get tired they'll bite. So right now everyone's killing him, 'oh he's coming off the bench,' 'you lost it.' He's still playing, all it takes is one of those games where his elbow is tucked in and he's feeling it and everybody's counting him out."

Whether or not the Warriors actually make the playoffs to begin with remains to be seen. But if they do survive the play-in tournament, Thompson might just be the catalyst Golden State needs to chase another NBA championship.

"Klay Thompson is the factor everybody's not really counting on," Shaq concluded. "We know what Steph's going to do, but if I can get Klay for two or three games ..."

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