Barkley says Sixers have 'no chance' at Finals

Andrew Porter
December 11, 2019 - 9:08 am

The Philadelphia 76ers were fresh off a 97-92 win over the Nuggets, their third straight win and 11th in their last 13 games. The home win improved the Sixers' Wells Fargo Center record to 13-0, the franchise's best home start since the 1966-67 season. 

But still, that didn't stop Charles Barkley for ripping into the Sixers, and Joel Embiid specifically. 

"(Embiid is) the toughest player in the league to match up with, but we don’t talk about him the way we talk about Luka (Doncic), Giannis (Antetokounmpo), Anthony Davis, James (Harden) — we don’t ever say that about him," Barkley said. "It’s frustrating for me, because I picked the Sixers to get to the Finals. They ain’t go no chance.

"It was two teams (Milwaukee and Philly). Boston has really played better, Toronto has played better, and that shouldn't be. 'Cause Philly, you give me Embiid and Simmons for the next ten years I'm like—so I don't want to jump totally off, but I'm in the air." 

Embiid—who did have 22 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists—hasn't looked comfortable on offense all season long. After the game, Embiid admitted he hasn't been himself and "having fun like usually." Still, I think Barkley's point is pretty hollow. While he certainly has a case when talking about Embiid specifically, saying the Sixers have "no chance" to get to the Finals because Boston and Toronto are playing better than we expected is foolish. 

Despite playing less than half of their games with their full lineup, the Sixers are 18-7 and 13-0 at home. Sure, the competition in the East is better than Philly hoped, but a Sixers-Bucks Eastern Conference Finals still seems likely to me.