By Harry Allison

As a guest on NBA TV’s schedule release show, Charles Barkley wasn’t shy about the expectations he has for his former team, the Sixers.

“I’m going out on a limb right now, I’m riding and dying with the Philadelphia 76ers. 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’…

When pressed for a guarantee, Barkley didn’t hesitate.

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

You could construe this as a former player building up his former team, but Barkley hasn’t been afraid to be critical of the Sixers in the past. He’s also pretty spot on in assessing the East. The Sixers and Bucks look poised to be the tops teams.

Now that the schedule is out, we know the teams will square off in Philly on Christmas Day and April 20, and in Milwaukee on Feb. 6 and 22.