Charles Barkley was not even a full segment into TNT’s first NBA Tip-Off show of the 2020-21 NBA season when he made his first guarantee of the year.
“The Hawks and the Wizards are going to make the playoffs, guaranteed,” Barkley said Tuesday before the NBA season began with a primetime matchup between the Brooklyn Nets and Golden State Warriors.
The celebrated Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer and TNT analyst is known for making some outrageous guarantees. However, the Wizards have similar expectations for their team after acquiring Russell Westbrook in a trade with the Houston Rockets earlier this offseason.
PointsBet sportsbook tempers expectations, setting their over/under win total at 33.5 (ninth highest in the East). Yet with the NBA playoffs expanded for this season to include a play-in tournament for the seventh and eighth seeds in each conference, finishing with the ninth-best record in the East would be enough for the Wizards to make the postseason.
It’s certainly not the most outlandish prediction Barkley has made in his broadcasting career, but the 11-time All-Star has already put himself out there setting a high bar for the Wizards.