Toronto Raptors

Charles Barkley on the Raptors: 'This is the year...they're going to win this series'

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Charles Barkley on the NBA on TNT

The Toronto Raptors and Cleveland Cavaliers second-round series is becoming one of the most anticipated playoff matchups in recent memory.

Everyone is weighing in on how the series will go and on Monday night after the Celtics' Game 1 win over the 76ers, the NBA on TNT crew game their opinion on who would book their ticket to the conference finals.

Despite the Cavs ending the Raptors season the last two season, Charles Barkley is fully in the camp of the team from the 6ix.

"We The North, We The North," Barkley exclaimed on the TNT set. "This is the year, this a different Raptors team - they're going to win this series.

"They got the best bench in the NBA - that's going to come into play.

"They're going to have three or four bodies that they can throw at LeBron."

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It's been well documented that the Raptors' depth will be an advantage heading into this series against the defending Eastern Conference champions. Adding Fred Van Vleet back to the lineup in Game 6 of their first-round win over the Washington Wizards was a sight for sore eyes for Raptors fans.

But in Game 7 against the Indiana Pacers, LeBron James showed he can still dominate a series and put his team on his back.

Not everyone on the TNT panel could go out and make a prediction for this series, Kenny Smith had to be pushed by Barkley to make a choice and in the end, he's riding with James and the Cavs.

"This is tough," Smith said. "Man, I'm going to go with the Cleveland Cavaliers - man that's tough. I hate saying it though."

Ernie Johnson agreed with Smith but added: "it's going to be a heck of a series."

Game 1 goes Tuesday night at the ACC with tip set for 8:00 p.m. et on TSN Networks. TNT will carry the game in the US.

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