The Boston Celtics are more talented than the Golden State Warriors, according to NBA legend Charles Barkley.
“I think realistically the only team that could beat [the Golden State Warriors] is the Boston Celtics,” Barkley said during an appearance on ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption this week. “The Celtics are loaded. Now they have to make it work because they have an overabundance of talent. I think the Rockets took a step back losing Luc [Mbah a Moute] and Trevor [Ariza]. But, on paper, just on paper, the Celtics have more talent than the Golden State Warriors.”
You can see Barkley’s comments below, via ESPN:
Celtics second-year forward Jayson Tatum agrees with Barkley, and even took it a step further, as he thinks that the Celtics can take down the Warriors in a seven-game series.
“Obviously they’re the defending champs,” Tatum said of Golden State at the Celtics’ media day, via Jay King of The Athletic. “Everybody respects them, we respect them. But we believe in ourselves… We definitely feel like we can compete and beat anybody in a 7-game series.”
All-star guard Kyrie Irving also believes that the Celtics have what it takes to take down the Warriors.
“Yes,” Irving replied when asked if the Celtics could topple the defending champions, via ESPN. “Because of who we have, and what we’re establishing here, not just for this season, but for hopefully for the next few years, something that’s pretty special.
“I’ve played against Golden State in three straight Finals (2015-17) — two that I was able to participate in — and seeing them evolve, with the talent they have, and then adding DeMarcus Cousins [this offseason], it’s like ‘OK, the whole league is on notice.’
“But there’s one factor that they’re aware of, and I’m aware of, and that’s that I’ve seen them up close. I’ve played them so many times. We’ve gone in a seven-game series [when he was in Cleveland], so I know what it takes… Now, how do I communicate to our guys that this is the top-tier team, and we have to grow immensely in the next six months to beat them consistently? Not just one game, not just two, but in a seven-game series, because they’re so dang great. They’re a powerhouse.”
The Celtics are clearly confident in their own abilities, and rightfully so. The team was just one game away from a Finals appearance last season with Irving and Gordon Hayward both sidelined with injury issues. Now that both are healthy and back in the rotation, many expect to see Boston face off against Golden State in the Finals next June. At that point, the Celtics will have the opportunity to prove that they can indeed take down the defending champs.