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Charles Barkley makes bold prediction for Sixers’ 2019-20 season

Charles Barkley is famous for his hot takes, predictions that range from arguably informed to downright outrageous. With the full schedule for the 2019-20 NBA season having been released on Monday, the outspoken “Inside the NBA” analyst has made his first big-time prognostication of the upcoming campaign. To be fair, it’s not as out-of-bounds as previous hot takes out of Sir Charles.

Appearing on NBA TV as part of the network’s schedule release programming, Barkley opined that the Philadelphia 76ers are the team to beat in the Eastern Conference.

I’m going out on a limb right now, I’m riding and dying with the Philadelphia 76ers,” Barkley said, as transcribed by NBC Sports Philadelphia. “I know it’s going to be a great battle between them and the Milwaukee Bucks all year. But I love Philadelphia. I love Al Horford, Josh Richardson. Milwaukee losing Brogdon, I think that’s a big deal. But I think it’s a two-team race in the Eastern Conference between the 76ers and the Milwaukee Bucks. I can’t wait until they play each other head to head.

It warrants mentioning that this is not the first time Barkley has hopped on the Sixers bandwagon. The former 76ers superstar predicted Philly would win the NBA title as the 2017-18 season wound down, which of course did not occur.

Despite missing the mark on that Sixers prediction — not to mention a handful of others over the years as well — when Barkley was asked for a guarantee, he did not hesitate.

“I guarantee you the Philadelphia 76ers are going to win the Eastern Conference,” Barkley said.

Interestingly, Barkley had far less flattering things to say about Joel Embiid earlier this offseason, so the fact he’s “riding and dying” with the Sixers in 2019-20 means he must believe the superstar will follow his harsh advice.