Charles Barkley isn’t impressed with the Nets after they beat the Cavaliers in the NBA play-in tournament Tuesday to clinch the seventh seed in the east.
While discussing the game on TNT’s “Inside the NBA,” Barkley argued that Brooklyn’s performance proved they’re no match for the second-seeded Celtics — who they will face in a first-round playoff series, beginning Sunday.
“Kevin Durant was fabulous with his passes and his defense. Kyrie was great, but other than that, I know they can’t beat the Celtics now,” said Barkley, who consistently criticized Irving over his vaccine status this season.
“All these fools on these other morning talk shows can let this ship sail. Both of those guys played great, great and they barely beat a mediocre Cavs team.”
The No. 8 seed Cavaliers have been without key stars, including Collin Sexton and Jarrett Allen, but still had an impressive campaign this year, after winning just 21 games last season.
Irving — who made his first 12 shots and added 12 assists in the playoff-clinching win — combined with Kevin Durant for 59 points. Nets centers Andre Drummond and Nic Claxton combined for 29 points and 12 rebounds against Cleveland.
The Nets-Celtics series will be a rematch of last year’s first-round playoff series that Brooklyn won in five games. This year, however, the Celtics will have All-Star guard Jaylen Brown, who missed last year’s series with a wrist injury.
The Nets will travel to Boston on Sunday to face the Celtics, which secured home-court advantage in Round 1.