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Charles Barkley blasts Brooklyn Nets after team clinches playoff appearance

Vincent Frank

The legendary Charles Barkley was sitting in the TNT studios watching the Brooklyn Nets dispose of the Cleveland Cavaliers Tuesday evening to earn a trip to the NBA Playoffs.

Kyrie Irving hit on his first 12 shots en route to finishing with 34 points. Kevin Durant added 25 points and 11 assists.

Apparently, Brooklyn’s performance in the play-in game to set the stage for a Round 1 matchup against the Boston Celtics was not enough impress Sir Charles. Check out what he said on the TNT broadcast immediately after Brooklyn’s 115-108 home win over Cleveland.

“There’s no way [the Nets] can beat the Celtics … All these fools on these other morning talk shows, can let this ship sail. [Durant and Kyrie] played great and they barely beat a mediocre Cavs team.”

Charles Barkley on the Brooklyn Nets’ chances against the Boston Celtics

Talk about bulletin board material for the Brooklyn Nets heading into Game 1 of their first-round playoff series against the Celtics on Sunday.

Related: 2022 NBA Playoff and championship predictions

Is Charles Barkley wrong about the Brooklyn Nets?

brooklyn nets' kyrie irving, kevin durant
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s look at Tuesday’s play-in game as a case study. Taking on a young Cavaliers team that was missing All-Star big man Jarrett Allen, Brooklyn opened up a 40-20 lead after the first qarter. It was then outscored by 13 in the final three quarters to win by seven points. In reality, the game shouldn’t have been that close.

This has been the story of the Nets all season long. Sure Irving’s absence due to COVID-19 mandates and Durant’s injury issues impacted this squad. The trade for Ben Simmons, only to see him fail to play in a single regular-season game, also impacted the Nets.

Even then, they finished the regular year with a 44-38 record and having to take part in the play-in tournament.

On the other side of the ledger, Boston was legitimately the best team in the Eastern Conference over the final 32 games of the regular season. After starting the campaign 25-25, these Celtics won 26 of their final 32 outings to finish as the second seed heading into the playoffs.

As for what we saw during the regular season, Boston took three of four against the Brooklyn Nets — outscoring them by 64 points in those three wins. Charles Barkley might be on to something here.