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Charles Barkley ripped the Celtics on TNT during Game 3, saying he was “embarrassed” for them and that they “have the toughness of a flea.”
The boisterous Hall of Famer was singing a different tune after Boston’s Game 4 win Tuesday night, saying he now expects the Celtics to win Game 5 on Thursday as well and really shift the pressure to the Heat.
“I think Game 5 is gonna be a cakewalk for the Celtics,” Barkley said. “I think they are gonna have so much energy. … Now they are gonna go back home. That place is gonna be loud and incredible. I think they are gonna kill Miami next game.”
If they do, then the series would return to Miami for Game 6 on Saturday night. Barkley believes all the pressure would be on the Heat at that point and thinks closing out the series before Game 7 would be a must for them.
“They’re gonna come back down here, and I’m gonna tell you something else: Game 6 in Miami is gonna be Game 7 for Miami,” Barkley said.
As long as the Celtics themselves aren’t expecting Game 5 to be a “cakewalk,” Barkley could end up being right. However, it’s also worth noting that home court hasn’t exactly been an advantage for Boston this postseason. The Celtics are 4-5 at TD Garden in these playoffs, including just 2-4 over the last two rounds.