BOSTON (CBS) — Charles Barkley had some harsh words for the Celtics before the game and during halftime against the Golden State Warriors. For a little while, it looked like Barkley’s comments would be validated.
Then the C’s took over.
Battling back from down as much as 17 points, the Celtics pulled off an impressive 92-88 win over the defending champions. And they did it amid strong remarks from Barkley, basketball hall of famer and longtime NBA analyst for TNT.
First, he promised that the Celtics would not hold the Warriors to 94 points, likely as a reference to the home team’s league-leading defensive rating. He was right … they held them to 88.
But Barkley really went after the C’s during the TNT halftime show, even though it was only 47-42. He sounded like he hadn’t watched a minute of their win streak, because he had basically the same take that he had after Gordon Hayward’s injury.
“How in the world has this team won 13 straight games?” said Barkley. “I’m sitting here watching, and I’ve watched them play probably five times. They would not be favored in the Eastern Conference. And I’m not even talking about Cleveland. I’m not sure they can beat Toronto or Washington.”
Obviously, one of those five times he’s watched the C’s was not last Sunday when they beat Toronto. He added that this year’s Celtics team is not as good as last year’s team and that they “put zero fear in anyone’s hearts.”
That turned heads.
Then the second half happened, and Barkley had no choice but to eat his words and feel the wrath of Celtics Twitter:
Naturally, Barkley had to walk back his comments after watching the Celtics come back to beat the defending champs and hold them to even fewer points than he predicted.
Even he now agrees that the C’s should be taken seriously as one of the top teams in the NBA. How could you not?