Barkley explains why there's ‘no way' Nets beat Celtics in playoffs


The Brooklyn Nets secured the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs Tuesday night by beating the Cleveland Cavaliers in a play-in tournament at Barclays Center.

Kyrie Irving scored 34 points and Kevin Durant added 25 in another fantastic performance by the Nets' superstar duo.

Charles Barkley wasn't impressed, though.

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The Hall of Famer and TNT analyst criticized the Nets after their win over the Cavaliers and doesn't think Brooklyn will eliminate the Boston Celtics in their first-round series.

"There's no way they can beat the Celtics," Barkley said of the Nets. "They've got two great players, and they both actually played as good as they probably can play.

"Kevin Durant was fabulous, with his passing and defense. Kyrie (Irving) was great. But other than that, I know they can't beat the Celtics now. All the fools on these morning talk shows can let this ship sail. Both of those guys played great and they barely beat a mediocre Cavs team."

The Cavaliers were without center Jarrett Allen on Tuesday night. He's an excellent defensive player and was selected to the All-Star Game earlier this season. Cleveland also struggled in the late stages of the regular season with just three wins in its last 10 games.

Despite a hot start, including a 40-20 lead at the end of the first quarter, the Nets led by just five points with six minutes left in the fourth quarter. The Nets let the Cavs get back into the game and have a chance to make it really interesting in crunch time. Durant ultimately stepped up and hit a few clutch shots to increase the lead with three minutes remaining, but it wasn't an encouraging second half for Brooklyn.

But even though the Nets have flaws and didn't meet expectations in the regular season, the Celtics still have to take them very seriously. Durant is arguably the best player in the league. Him and Irving are two of the best clutch players of their generation. Sure, the Celtics have a better supporting cast around their two stars, but it's not like the Nets role players are without talent. 

The Celtics are small betting favorites, and rightfully so, but we should expect this to be a close, exciting series that lasts six or seven games.

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