Charles Barkley, the Round Mound of Rebound and possessor of the world’s worst golf swing, thinks the Boston Celtics will beat the Miami Heat.
“I think the Celtics, they are going to be fine the first round of the playoffs,” he told the Boston Globe. “I think their age is taking its toll, but they are going to be energized and fresh for the first round of the playoffs. They’re gonna get that rush. They know that everybody has been saying they’ve been saving up all season. So the first round of the playoffs, they are going to be ready to go.”
Plus, “Dwyane Wade is playing with a bunch of Marlon Jacksons and Tito Jacksons,” Barkley said. “And quite frankly, Miami is just a decent team.”
So the Celtics, if Chuck is to be trusted, will beat Miami. After that, though, is when Sir Charles thinks things will get dicey. “They know that everybody has been saying they’ve been saving up all season. So the first round of the playoffs, they are going to be ready to go. I don’t think they are going to get older or slow down until later in the playoffs.”
Then, he says, the Celtics’ age will show and their play will deteriorate.
“The Celtics went for it, they won a championship, and now they are just an older team,” he said. “Kevin Garnett is one of my favorite players, but you can tell he’s just not the same player. Kevin Garnett played hard every single night when he was in Minnesota. He didn’t have talent [on that team] and it’s caught up with him.
“Paul Pierce is getting older. Ray Allen is clearly older. [Rajon] Rondo has had a fantastic season. But I think they went for it that one year and they won a championship.
“You can see they are not the same. Their energy level is not the same. Me and Kevin [McHale] talk about it all the time. I joke about it on the air. When you get older and people say, ‘Well, when we get healthy . . .’
“Older people die, they don’t get healthier. The Celtics have hit a wall, to be honest with you.”
I thought perhaps Barkley should have changed his quote to, “Older people don’t get healthier, they kiss me on the lips.”