Charles Barkley was comically wrong about the Celtics last night.
In a way, that’s all part of his job. He’s paid to have strong opinions and be engaging and funny. He got us talking about his opinions and (by the end of the night) we were laughing. Granted, it was laughing at him, but that counts.
If you missed the TNT broadcast, Barkley made it clear that he did not believe in the Boston Celtics and in particular he didn’t think they stood a chance against the Warriors.
At halftime, he doubled down on his take and said that the Celtics would not be the best team in the East this season.
“I’m sitting here watching, and I’ve watched them play probably five times, and they would not be favored in the Eastern Conference,” Barkley continued. “And I’m not talking about Cleveland. I’m not even talking about Cleveland. I’m not sure they could beat Toronto or Washington.”
That’s fine, that’s his opinion and ultimately he may end up being right.
What kind of left me shaking my head was the complete lack of analysis and/or support for his opinion. Some vague mention about Gordon Hayward’s injury and a statement that they aren’t as good as last year’s team just isn’t enough support for a theory that flies in the face of the Celtics current record. Watching the team “probably five times” probably isn’t enough research to make such a definitive statement anyway.
Hey, maybe this team is like the 2014-15 Hawks that won 60 games but faded down the stretch and couldn’t beat LeBron in the playoffs. After all, Al Horford was part of that team too. Something along those lines could very well happen.
But right now, the Celtics have the best record in basketball, are playing the best defense in basketball, and just beat the defending champs.
Sorry Chuck, but your hot take seems pretty cold right now.