Stop me if you've heard this before: Charles Barkley doesn't believe in the Warriors.
The Basketball Hall of Famer said Thursday night during halftime of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s overtime win over the Portland Trail Blazers that he was not picking Golden State to win it all, let alone get out of the Western Conference. Sir Charles is picking Portland.
"Put it on the board," Barkley exclaimed on TNT. "The Portland Trail Blazers are going to The Finals! The N-B-A Finals!"
Moments later, fellow TNT analyst Kenny Smith high-fived Barkley and said: "We are in agreement!"
The Blazers entered Thursday with a 39-25 record, good for fifth in the Western Conference. The Thunder owned the tiebreaker ahead of their clash that night, but Smith and Barkley clearly were confident in Portland's chances.
The Warriors split the season series with the Blazers, winning a game in Oakland and another in Portland. The recent playoff history is entirely one-sided, however, as the Golden State has lost only one game to Portland in the teams' last two previous series. Golden State swept the last one in 2017, en route to an NBA championship.
Barkley and Smith could know whether the Blazers will take the Warriors' place in the Finals sooner rather than later. Assuming the playoff picture doesn't change between now and the playoffs and that both teams advance out of the first round, Golden State and Portland would square off in the second round.
Looks like Barkley changed his stance on jump-shooting teams.