You could feel it coming once the final buzzer sounded to signal the end of Tuesday’s Game 5 between the Bucks and Nets. You knew there would be a strong Charles Barkley rant on the “NBA on TNT” postgame show after Milwaukee collapsed down the stretch and watched Brooklyn take a 3-2 series lead with a 114-108 win at the Barclays Center.
Well, Chuck delivered. The Hall of Famer didn’t hold back on a Bucks team that led by 16 points at halftime, only to be outscored 71-49 over the final two periods. Barkley was critical of Milwaukee’s inability to make adjustments and create easy buckets on the offensive end.
“That was embarrassing for basketball,” Barkley said. “To lose that game, to have that — like, you could tell they were gonna lose the game at halftime. . . . When you do dumb stuff and it works, you keep doing dumb stuff. You sit there — when they were doing dumb stuff in Game 1 and Game 2, you’re like, ‘Well, that’s how they play, Chuck.’ Like, so? They’re killing them in the paint, but they’re gonna keep jacking up threes just because that’s how they play.”
“They deserved to lose that game. Shout out to Kevin Durant & Jeff Green.”
Chuck sounds off after the Bucks blew a 17-PT lead in Game 5. pic.twitter.com/vUQGbCvQGQ
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) June 16, 2021
Barkley and the other members of the “NBA on TNT” crew gave credit to Kevin Durant, who led Brooklyn to victory with 49 points, 17 rebounds, 10 assists, three steals and two blocks in 48 minutes. The Nets’ role players also stepped up, most notably Jeff Green (27 points on 8-of-11 shooting) and Blake Griffin (17 points on 7-of-11 shooting).
But “The Round Mound of Rebound” just couldn’t fathom how the Bucks had blown such a golden opportunity, especially considering the Nets leaned on an injured James Harden for 46 minutes and didn’t have Kyrie Irving at all.
“Like Herm Edwards said, ‘You play to win the game.’ And that was one of the dumbest games,” Barkley said. “Man, I am so mad right now because they got a bunch of really good guys, and they play dumb. And they deserved to lose that game. Shout out to Kevin Durant and Jeff Green, but man, the other team had something to do with it. That was awful basketball.”
The Bucks will head back to Milwaukee for Game 6 on Thursday looking to avoid elimination. One key to that contest: Doing less “dumb stuff.”