The Boston Celtics were a laughingstock in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference finals series with the Miami Heat on Sunday night, and Charles Barkley didn’t let them off the hook.
Known for never holding back from speaking his mind, Barkley unloaded after the Celtics humiliated themselves with a mediocre effort in the 128-102 blowout loss, putting Boston in an 3-0 deficit with its season hanging on a thread.
Barkley, alongside Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson, interviewed Miami guard Gabe Vincent, who tried to give Boston some credit, but Barkley wasn’t having it. He questioned (rightfully so) Vincent’s analysis of what the Celtics were in the shameful playoff defeat.
“Clearly you didn’t watch the game tonight,” Barkley told Vincent, as seen on TNT’s postgame coverage. “Talking about well coached and don’t lay down? Hey, go look at the tape again.”
Barkley added: “I don’t even think you mind losing, but that was humiliating.”
The Celtics were the ultimate failures, suffering their worst loss of the season to give the Heat all the momentum necessary to put them one game away from the NBA Finals, while putting forth no fight. Boston accepts its fate and it was noticeable as early as the second quarter.
Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown were sorry excuses for team leaders, once again surrendering the superstar role to Jimmy Butler. Boston’s duo combined to score just 26 points, shot just 1-of-14 from the outside and committed six turnovers, leading the Celtics to a white flag-waving defeat.
“Let’s just keep it real, Celtics are way too cool for me,” O’Neal said. “… Celtics came out with no sense of urgency. The Heat knew what they had to do, and they’re committed to doing it, they’ve been doing it all year.”
It’s do-or-die time (again) for the Celtics in Game 4 on Tuesday night, and if they intend to play anything like they did in Game 3, they mine as well not show up.