Charles Barkley predicts Game 5 will be ‘cake’ for Celtics


The series returns to Boston after a big Game 4 win for the Celtics.

CharlesCC in the Davis/Globe team

  • The Celtics' Grant Williams hit that three-pointer over Miami's Max Strus to give Boston an 88-77 lead in the third quarter.  The Boston Celtics visited the Miami Heat for Game 4 of their NBA Eastern Conference Finals series at Kaseya Center.

    Grant Williams let his game do the talking to help keep the Celtics’ season alive in Miami

  • 8 takeaways as Jayson Tatum and Celtics extend season with Game 4 win over Heat

The Celtics found their shot and extended their season with a 116-99 win over Miami in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Tuesday night.

After dropping the first three games of the series, Boston now trails 3-1.

No team has ever come back after leading 3-0 in an NBA playoff series. One hundred and fifty teams tried. All have failed.

Could the Celtics be the team to break the mold and make history? That’s not out of the question, according to TNT analyst Charles Barkley. Boston hosts Miami in Game 5 at TD Garden on Thursday night.

“I think Game 5 is going to be a cakewalk for the Celtics,” Barkley said. “I think they’re going to have so much energy because not getting swept away is not an achievement, they’re not getting a cookie. But now they can go home and this place is going to be loud, it’s okay be amazing. I think they’re going to kill Miami in the next game.

Barkley said if the Celtics won Game 5, the next game would take on added importance.

“And I’ll tell you something else, Game 6 in Miami will be Game 7 for Miami,” Barkley said.

Fellow analyst Kenny Smith takes a different view. He thought Game 4 was easier than Game 5 for the Celtics.

“That’s my reasoning,” Smith said. “When you go home, you’re not going to be reprimanded. You get pats on the back. So now you can feel like “we haven’t been swept away” and you can relax and not feel the urgency that your season is over if you lose again. They have to get rid of this feeling.

Barkley said he was impressed with Jayson Tatum’s performance. Tatum scored 33 points on 14-of-22 shooting. Barkley said Jaylen Brown needed to play better for his prediction to come true. Brown had 17 points on 7-of-16 shooting.

“You have to get over that emotion from this game tonight if you’re the Celtics,” Barkley said. “Brown has to pick it up. Tatum played really well tonight, but Brown is the guy who has to pick him up. Tonight was a punch, it must be a 1-2 punch.


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