The Boston Celtics already locked up the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and homecourt advantage throughout the NBA playoffs.

In the final game of the regular season, there are arguments for and against playing Boston’s starters. The Celtics have kept their stars on the floor, though their performances have fallen. After a strange statistical loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday, the Celtics fell behind the New York Knicks with a 69-48 halftime deficit.

After the initial effort, NBA on TNT analyst Charles Barkley assessed if stars like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown should still be giving minutes for the Celtics in the final games.

“If they’re gonna play like that, they shouldn’t play,” Barkley shared on “Inside the NBA” on Thursday.

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Barkley called upon how losing rhythm in meaningless regular season games can carry over into the early rounds of the postseason, a possibility the Celtics cannot run into.

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“They come out tonight and they’re just kind of going through the motions,” Barkley added. “I know they’re gonna finish with the best record, but, man, you just can’t turn it off and turn it on.”

Boston did snap out of the funk, outscoring the Knicks 38-18 in the fourth quarter. That deficit ended up being too much to overcome in a 118-109 loss.

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The Celtics have two games remaining before the ultimate quest for a championship begins in the postseason.

Featured image via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images