Shaq: Dubs will win championship if they claim No. 4 seed


As the 2022-23 NBA season nears its conclusion, the Warriors still have a big supporter in their chances to repeat as champions: Shaquille O'Neal. 

Before the Warriors' 131-110 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday at FedExForum, the four-time champion explained why he likes Golden State's chances to repeat if they are a top-4 team in the Western Conference.

"Golden State does not play well on the road, correct? They play well at home, correct?" O'Neal asked "Inside the NBA" co-hosts Ernie Johnson, Jamal Crawford and Charles Barkley. "If they get to the No. 4 spot, they're going to win the championship.

"They get their home-court advantage, if they get that home-court advantage, the Golden State Warriors will repeat as NBA champions. They have the blueprint to win championships -- they've done it before."

To say the Warriors have struggled away from Chase Cently is an understatement. 

After Golden State's loss to Memphis -- its eighth straight loss on the road -- it is 7-27 away from home this season, the third-worst mark in the NBA. Only the lottery-bound Houston Rockets (6-28) and San Antonio Spurs (6-27) have worse records than the defending champions. 

Still, O'Neal is confident in the Warriors' ability to string together quality wins as the regular season winds down. 

"If Golden State can get to that four spot, I think that'll keep that switch on because sometimes, they play great, sometimes they don't," O'Neal continued. "But I think if they can get home-court advantage and start that first round and get that momentum, they could definitely get it back."

After losing to the Grizzlies, the Warriors (34-33) are now tied for the sixth seed, with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Dallas Mavericks. In order for Golden State to be the fourth seed, it would have to leapfrog the Los Angeles Clippers and Phoenix Suns, respectively. 

Though Phoenix will be without Kevin Durant, the Suns will have to lose a majority of their remaining 16 games for the Warriors to have a chance at overtaking their Pacific Division rivals. Meanwhile, Golden State has 15 games remaining, with eight coming on the road.

RELATED: Draymond expresses frustration over Dubs' tough road woes

If the Warriorcanto overcome their "frustrating" road issues -- as Draymond Green said -- perhaps Golden State can attain home-court advantage in the playoffs. 

And if it does, other Western Conference teams had better watch out, just as O'Neal predicted. 

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