Charles Barkley doesn’t think the Boston Celtics are a true threat in the Eastern Conference. Thursday night, Sir Charles claimed Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas has to do far too much heavy lifting for the team to be successful, and that the team simply didn’t have enough playmakers for a deep playoff run.
Take a look:
“Isaiah Thomas has to make every important basket. That to me is the weakness of the Boston Celtics.”
Chuck on IT4 pic.twitter.com/u4Wuc3wyDn
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) March 10, 2017
Barkley has a point. Other than Russell Westbrook, no one is relied upon by his team more than Thomas. He’s averaging 29.4 points, 6.1 assists and 2.7 rebounds in 34.3 minutes per game. While Avery Bradley (16.9 points per game), Al Horford (13.9) and Jae Crowder (13.7) certainly help shoulder some of the scoring load, the East’s other teams have far more top-level depth.
As Barkley points out, the Toronto Raptors are missing Kyle Lowry, but still have top scorer DeMar DeRozan, plus Jonas Valanciunas, Terrence Ross and Serge Ibaka, who can all impact the game. When Lowry comes back the Raptors will be scary.
The Cavs obviously have the best roster setup for a deep run, but even the Washington Wizards could challenge Boston. They boast Bradley Beal, John Wall, Markieff Morris, an emerging Otto Porter and the recently-arrived Bojan Bogdanovic, who is pouring in 16.5 points per game for his new team.
The Celtics may be second in the Eastern Conference’s standings, but they might not be the second-best team as currently constructed. Thomas shoulders a huge load in Boston and he’ll need to hold up and continue it the Celtics want to make a postseason run.