Charles Barkley compliments the Boston Celtics in his own unique way.

The Basketball Hall of Famer and TNT NBA analyst ranked the Celtics as the third-best team in the Eastern Conference Thursday night on “Inside the NBA.” Barkley couched his rankings inside of a proverbial house, on top of which sit the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers, with the Celtics coming in just below them.

“Listen, Philadelphia and Milwaukee are on this roof,” Barkley said. “Boston is right here on the bottom of this ceiling. Everything else after that is up for grabs. The roof is the ceiling.”

After losing to the 76ers on opening night, the Celtics subsequently rattled off wins over the Toronto Raptors, New York Knicks and Bucks to allay fears their lone defeat might have sparked.

However, Boston must over-perform relative to expectations in order to break their way onto Barkley’s “roof” and join the ranks of Eastern Conference favorites. Exactly how long the Celtics will have to keep winning in order to gain further favor with Barkley probably depends on his mood on the day his cohorts ask for an updated list.

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