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Sixers Send A Statement (Hour 1)

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
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May 10, 2023 7:08 pm

Sixers Send A Statement (Hour 1)

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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May 10, 2023 7:08 pm

Sixers impress or Celtics disappoint? l NFL schedule leaks l Sean Grande, Celtics radio play-by-play broadcaster

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Additional terms apply. CBS Sports Radio here in beautiful New York City sitting on top of the 10th floor of 345 Hudson Street. Welcome on in to a Wednesday edition of the Zach Gelb show across all of our great local CBS Sports Radio affiliates, Sirius XM, Channel 158 and that free Odyssey app. 855-212-4CBS is the number to jump on in. 855-212-4227. You can always get at me on Instagram where I'm straight flexing or via the good old cesspool of Twitter at Zach Gelb.

That's Z-A-C-H-G-E-L-B. Bill Rider going to join us coming up two hours from now as we will chat about all things happening in the world of the NBA with Bill Rider. You could hear on many of the same CBS Sports Radio affiliates Monday through Friday from 10 to noon Eastern time. So always do appreciate Bill hopping on board with us and producing this extravaganza for the next four hours probably will be a punching bag for Bill when Bill joins us. Two hours from now is no other than hot take kicky.

I don't know about that hot take kicky. I have to start off this show by saying I'm really impressed by the Philadelphia 76ers. Not that I'm shocked that they won the game last night, but the shocking part was how they won the game.

They went into Boston and they dictated the game on their own terms and they threw haymaker after haymaker early and by the time you got to the fourth quarter, the body of the Boston Celtics was just being dragged up and down the basketball court. The Sixers played for their standards in the postseason, a perfect basketball game last night. Joel Embiid showed why he was the MVP this past year. Tyrese Maxey went off with 30 points, 6-12 from behind the arc. James Harden, we've always talked about him, he's had two great performances in this playoffs, you know, in this series and then two just horrific performances. He wasn't spectacular last night, but he wasn't a no-show. He gave you a solid game even when he wasn't at his best, pouring in 17 points.

Tobias Harris, we finally found him. He finally showed a pulse in this series with 16 points, 7 of 10 from the field and they even got some production off the bench with House Jr. as well. That is as good of a game and from an individual game standpoint this postseason, probably the most impressive game I've seen a team play with what they were able to do, where the stakes were, what the numbers are. If you win Game 5 in a series that was 2-2 and take the 3-2 series lead and you go into Boston and you made Boston pay. Because Boston, all postseason long, they've been playing with fire. They played with fire up against the Hawks. That series should not have gone as long as it did and in this series, after they sleptwalk through the first three quarters of Game 4, they got back in the game when they wanted to play Boston and they almost won the game. But instead of showing up in the first three quarters, which they could have done, maybe it's a totally different conversation and maybe last night is a potential closeout game for the Boston Celtics. But instead, it was 2-2. And last night, the Sixers finally got burned because when it's Game 1 and you have that performance that Boston had when they didn't even have to go up against Joel Embiid and the Sixers win when Harden goes for 45, alright, you're down 0-1. Not the end of the world. You could recover. But now, you lose any margin of error that you had because the next time you lose, you're done.

You're out. Now, this series isn't over. We've seen Boston, just as recently as last year, beat down 3-2 to the Milwaukee Bucks and come on back.

But this is going to be so tough to do because you're going into Philly tomorrow night. And that's going to be the most raucous atmosphere probably in that building since the Philadelphia 76ers got to an NBA Finals up against the Lakers. That is how raucous of a crowd this is going to be coming up tomorrow night and how tough of an environment it's going to be for Boston because what makes this series so fun, if you're a Sixers fan, is that Sixers fans today are surprised that they are one win away from going to the conference finals. As we talked about this all throughout the year, the Sixers fan was making a big push for Joel Embiid to win the MVP for a bunch of reasons. But one of those reasons were they did not believe this was going to be a championship team.

So you had to win something, you may as well win the MVP and go to bat, go to war for your guy in Joel the process Embiid. And headed into the playoffs, I didn't think the Sixers team was going to get to the conference finals. I thought it would be Milwaukee and I also thought it was going to be the Boston Celtics.

Milwaukee's already donezo. They lost to the first round to the Miami Heat who are one win away and I expect that to probably happen tonight at the world's most famous arena, Madison Square Garden. I think the Knicks are toast. So the Knicks are going to be done tonight. Heat will go to the conference finals and you look at this series, we are now one Sixers performance away. One victorious Sixers performance away from having neither the Bucks nor the Celtics go to the conference finals. Where it was a lock, one of those teams were going to go to the NBA finals out of the Easter conference. So we're going to really find out what Boston is made out of and what concerns me with Boston. And I've been saying this for a week and a half.

They don't have a sense of urgency. And I know everyone's going to kill the coach, Missoula, but how about Tatum last night? I know if you just look at the stats, you're like, oh, he scored 36 points.

So Zach, he showed up. He had no fight, no jump right out of the gate in that first quarter. After that team failed to show up for the first three quarters in game four, how do you go back in front of your own home crowd and come out that flat?

And Jaylen Brown was fine, but he wasn't great. But this team that all we hear about Boston is their depth and right them knowing how to get to an NBA finals. They were a massive no show last night and Philadelphia took it to them and they dominated that game.

For four quarters where you got to the fourth quarter didn't even matter. That was a heck of a performance last night for the Philadelphia 76ers and the Boston Celtics should be absolutely embarrassed. And if they don't find a way to come back and win game six and seven, I don't want to hear anyone say that this season wasn't a failure because this season would be an enormous failure for the Boston Celtics.

When I tell you the Bucks were already out after the first round and the team that was standing in your way was the team that you've owned in the 76ers, a team that Joellen Beat even said you can't call this a rivalry because they're always beating up on us. And now that team is going into their building, their home court in game six, and they have a chance to put away the Boston Celtics. This is a brutal performance last night by Boston. And the stunning part is, even though I've questioned their urgency, and even though I said where is this killer instinct that we've seen before from the Boston Celtics, you thought they would actually put up a fight last night. Like it wasn't a lock that they were going to win the game, even though everyone thought that they were, but they went down without even a fight in game five. So it's not stunning that the Sixers won, but it's stunning how the Sixers won and how Boston just absolutely got annihilated last night by the Philadelphia 76ers.

That is an impressive win. That is a long time coming for Philadelphia. And for the first time, you actually feel like up against the Boston Celtics that the Sixers have control of the series. And let me say it, they look like the better team right now.

Now, once again, this means jack, not a zilch. This would be at this point a failure if the Sixers don't go on to find a way to win one game and two tries in this series. But for Philadelphia, without finding a way to get to four first, they still found a way to impress in a big time way. And if you're Philly, you better close them out in six, because if you get to a game seven, anything could happen. But this Celtics team, I can't sit here and tell you that I feel confident that they're coming back.

It's not an impossible ask to go win back to back games with the last one being on your own home court in TD Garden. But we've talked about this all throughout this young postseason. When is Boston going to show that killer instinct? And clearly they felt like they don't need to show it in the first round. And I understand it because there's no way the Hawks were ever going to win that series. But then in the second round, with the past history and how much that they've dominated Philadelphia, they thought they were just going to walk through the park. They could just press the snooze button and wake up when they want to wake up and they'll be in the conference finals. And the Philadelphia 76ers sent them a new reality last night.

They gave them a different dose of medicine last night when Philadelphia said, we've grown up in a big way. The Sixers are here and they're going to make you sweat. And we're going to go into Boston and we're going to win this game and dominate this game on our terms. That's the message that the Sixers sent last night as they played in the postseason as perfect of a game that you could play. There is nothing from last night that I could have a problem with if I'm a Philadelphia 76ers fan.

And now we'll see if they could climb that last hurdle and that's getting the fourth win. But Philly has impressed in this series and Boston has just been a big disappointment when you're waiting and waiting and waiting for the Celtics team to finally show up and be the team that they're capable of. And they've been lackadaisical this entire postseason and they have showed zero urgency.

Now you don't have a margin of error. You need to go win these next two games or you're going golfing way earlier than anyone could have expected. And if you don't find a way to win these next two, it is an abomination of a year for the Boston Celtics. So let's see right before it hits midnight if they're going to finally show that killer instinct. But with what I've seen from this Celtics team, it looks like a team that just doesn't have that desire and doesn't have that will to reach their full potential.

Hickey, how do you react to last night? Because as you can tell, I was thoroughly impressed with Philadelphia and just severely disappointed that Boston was once again so flat like a bottle of seltzer that's been in your fridge for four months. This series is over. As someone who picked the Celtics to win in five, even after game one, they lost. The Celtics are cooked and here's why. They have only one way to win. They can either shoot the lights out in three or they have no chance of winning for the most part.

And I just don't think in the playoffs you can rely solely on one form of offense to win and have that be your only way that games are going to be decided. This year, when they shoot 40% or better from three, they are 34 and two. 34 and two as a team when they shoot 40%.

When they do not shoot 40%, they're 29 and 28. They are just an average team. They are not shooting at a high clip from three.

They're an average team. We've seen that in game one without Embiid. We saw it especially yesterday where they can never really close the gap and never make a comeback. Once Philly got out early, they never were able to really kind of eat it to that lead. They got hit in the mouth.

They didn't know what to do. Even in game four, in overtime when they're down and make that big comeback late, part of that was they just could not close out the Sixers. I've seen enough. I don't like what I've been seeing. There's definitely a major right now coaching disadvantage going on, which I never thought I would say with Doc Rivers in the playoffs.

But that's absolutely the case right now with Joe Missoula. Not making any adjustments and basically throwing defense out the window with how many open shots the Sixers are getting. This series is over. I gave a lot of props to the Sixers because they did something I never thought would even be imaginable.

But they have earned it. They have played really well. And the Celtics have just regressed big time, even though the core is for the most part the same from last year to this year. When you say that the series is over, are you saying Sixers in six? Is that what you're telling me? Yes, but if they lose, I can't sit here and tell you the Celtics right now are going to put two good games back to back together.

So that's the thing. If you want to tell me that it's over, the Sixers better win this thing in six, I'm not saying that the Sixers are incapable of going to Boston and winning a game seven. But you know how momentum quickly shifts. If this goes from it's over and then the next thing you know it's a game seven because the Sixers don't show up or the Celtics finally wake up in a game six. I can't say that this series is over. It's impossible right now to trust the Boston Celtics. But we've been waiting, we've been asking all postseason for them to show that killer instinct.

Maybe they're really going to need to be stuffed in a corner and their backs are really going to have to be put up against the wall. And now it's now or never because the next time they lose, they're going to be out of the postseason if they can't find a way to win these next two. I actually, I called my uncle last night and you know my uncle, he's a crazy Boston sports fan. And I go, where's this team's killer instinct? And he watches I think like 75 regular season games. Like he is a crazy Boston Celtics fan. And he said, even though they have a record of what, 57 wins in the regular season, he goes, he's had a problem in this team's competitive level all year. That's what my uncle said who watches more Celtics basketball than anybody.

So he was not even surprised with the lack of the effort from the Boston Celtics last night. 855-212-4CBS, 855-212-4227. Let's go to Massachusetts real quickly. Matt is on the Zach Gilb show first up on CBS Sports Radio. Matti, what's happening? Zach, how are you?

Doing great. So Zach, you know, I concur with what your uncle just said about the Boston Celtics because they're as gutless as they come. I mean, this team, this team craters the second that adversity strikes them like you wouldn't believe. And you know, the thing that is just absolutely mind boggling about this team, Zach, is their home record during the postseason. In the last 16 postseason games, you wonder how many games the Celtics have won at home? Go ahead. Seven.

Seven and nine. You know what we call that, Zach? That's a recipe for a failure of a championship team. And if they don't come back and win this series, which I see no reason to think, which is a cold day in hell that I'm agreeing with Ryan on this one. But the fact that this team has shown no heart to this point, well, if they're not going to show it tomorrow, then forget it.

Just don't bother showing up then. What is amazing to me, though, it's not that they lost last night. It's it's that they failed to show up at home in front of that crowd. Those Celtics fans and I've been I was at that elimination game years ago. Celtics and Sixers, I think it was in Game five. That building was raucous.

The Garden in Boston is a great place to go. And the fans are as passionate as they come. And the fact that you couldn't be alive to start that game.

It was a gutless performance last night by the by the Boston Celtics and good on the Sixers for not only taking advantage of it, but just absolutely dominating the Boston Celtics. It is the Zach Gelb show on CBS Sports Radio. You're listening to the Zach Gelb show. You know, I heard a take earlier this morning on CBS Sports Radio by Mraz, and it's not the only place that I'm hearing it, but the outrage over Christmas Day football and how the NFL is doing a triple header on Monday, which is Christmas Day this year, is just ridiculous. It's a bunch of fake outrage right now.

You have so many people freaking out. How am I going to eat? How am I going to spend time with my family? How am I going to watch the game without relatives annoying me? Blah, blah, blah.

Like, let's be real. You're going to load up your plate with food. It's there's a triple header. The Giants from Mraz don't even play until 425 p.m. Eastern. So the kids will open up all the presents by then.

And you'll you'll park your fat ass on the couch and watch the games. It's like I don't understand all this craziness and all this outrage today of people bitching. And it's just not Sean. They're all over the place. I can't believe the NFL is doing a triple header on Christmas Day going out of their way when it's not a Sunday to be doing this on a Monday. Like, Hickey, correct me if I'm wrong, and I know you're a big Christmas guy and you have a family of like 500 people. Do you give a rat's ass that the NFL is going out of their way to put together a triple header on Christmas Day, which is a Monday this year? No, I'm even surprised that one per I mean, I should be surprised. I'm surprised even one person has a problem with this.

Who cares? I don't understand, like the outrage of everyone's off for the most part of your celebrate Christmas. I mean, maybe I'm just talking from self experience, but for me, at least Christmas Eve is always a way bigger day than Christmas Day. And you always talk about Christmas Day in the morning. You wake up, Santa comes, open the gifts, and it's like a morning. Maybe you have a lunch thing. But who like I mean, again, maybe this is just me and my family, but Christmas dinner is not a big thing. I don't think it's a big thing for Catholics for most of the country. I just I mean, it's a day off anyway.

What are you going to do last year's on Christmas Eve? Like it's people just complaining to complain. You said before, it's fake outrage. They're just bitching a bitch.

And we know people in this country, they love to bitch. But I haven't seen the exact schedule because they've only told you that Giants and Eagles are at 425. But I'm going to imagine that there's a game at one, a game at 425, and then what, a game at eight or 820? It was probably just like Thanksgiving. How come no one's complaining about Thanksgiving games?

That's universally impacts everyone. That's a national holiday where there's three games every single Thanksgiving with family. No one complains when your team's playing on Thanksgiving.

And also you go out of your way. Like I think the first game on Thanksgiving usually starts at 12 or 1230. It's a little bit earlier. Detroit usually. And there's been some times where the Patriots are playing Detroit in my lifetime on Thanksgiving.

And even though I have to go to New Jersey for Thanksgiving, which could be a little bit of a drive, especially on Thanksgiving, you just make sure that you leave earlier to get to your place to start your festivity, festivities and all that. And also, you can watch the game on a phone now. There's so much streaming, too. I know it's not the most ideal thing in the world, but if you are in your home or in a relative's home, you're really going to miss that much football. Like, I don't see how you're going to miss that much football. The game's going to be on. You're going to have your food.

The presents will all be open by then. And when the game starts, if you have to miss a player two here or there, it's not the end of the world. And I get it. It's late in the season, so the game may be of some importance. But let's not act as if this is a criminal act by the NFL. And yeah, like if you want to say the NFL are pigs, sure, go ahead. But is anyone surprised that the NFL is going to take advantage of that Monday?

And I'm going to give you an opinion a lot of people don't love. Like, everyone loves NBA basketball on Christmas Day. Give me the NFL 10 times out of 10 on Christmas Day compared to the NBA if I could go one or another.

And who gives a rat's ass if you're infringing on the NBA's territory? People are going to say, oh, well, Gelb, you're Jewish, so you're looking for something to do anyway on Christmas Day. That's fair. I've celebrated Christmas before on one side of the family. Like I've dressed up as Santa Claus and I've gone like to three, four, five Christmases, depending. You know, I once dated someone who had to go to Christmas Eve and all that stuff and Christmas Day and you spend it with their family. But it's it's not as if it's impossible to watch a game when when you're going through a holiday.

Like I've been at holidays when you've had to watch a game in our line of work. OK, maybe you have to move away from the table or you tell your aunt or your uncle, your mommy, your dad or your significant other. Instead of sitting down at the table, let's put the food out. Have everyone load up their plate, spread everyone out and whoever wants to watch the game, they go on the couch. I come on.

I know everyone has a good time with their family. You're really spending all five, six hours that you're at the person's house with the entirety of those five, six hours talking. You need a little buffer. You need a little television time to go watch a game.

So I don't think this is a big deal whatsoever. Now, some other things from the early schedule leaks and the schedule will get released tomorrow. I kind of like the Black Friday game, which you're going to do this year. It's going to be Dolphins and Jets. New Year's Eve.

They have Bengals and Chiefs. Now, New Year's Eve, if I'm not mistaken, this year is on a Sunday. I hate when college football does the playoff games on New Year's Eve. Now, Bengals, this is a big time game.

That's at 425. I'm OK with the timing of that because your plans are not usually later until the evening. But I think that's the one holiday hickey. New Year's Eve, which I think is an over. And I think New Year's is overrated.

You have to go somewhere, spend so much money. I like New Year's better when you just sit in the house and you invite some people over instead of having to go out somewhere and spend like 10 times more than what it would usually cost. But that's the one sport. That's the one holiday where I'm usually like, OK, I could live without a football game. But it's not like I'm irate about it.

I just don't like college football. When you're when you're having the game like last year, a great game between Ohio State and Georgia, literally ending as the clock did hit midnight. That's that. That's the part.

The timing of it. If it was only the day, it'd be fine. But, you know, they're not going to do that because of TV purposes. It's a Sunday.

So I guess I expected that. I'm also surprised they released that game on its own, which maybe says that they're going to move a lot of them to Saturday and have a, you know, potentially kind of what they did last year, where you had most games on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at a triple header. When it was a Saturday, Christmas Eve, Sunday, Christmas Day, maybe they'll do the same this year where you have on Christmas or on New Year's Eve. On Sunday is a triple header and you'll have most games on Saturday.

But also twenty five, everyone be locked in. I love everyone like Sean, who's being like selfish on here, who freaks out about how it impacts himself. No one ever brings up, oh, yeah, the players have to be away from their families on on Christmas Day. That that part of the argument never gets brought up. It's always, oh, you're ruining my family time by putting a game on. I have two quick things to say about that.

Number one, he's a total fraud. And anyone who believes this is a total fraud, if you have a problem with Christmas Day games and no problem with Thanksgiving games, it's the same thing. OK, Thanksgiving impacts more people than else. Christmas Day.

So if you're a total fraud, if you're excited. Oh, Cowboys, Giants on Christmas, on Thanksgiving last year. Let's go. Oh, my God.

Eagles, Giants on New Year's Day on Christmas Day. I can't believe it. Number two, for people specifically in this industry, you have an out. I have to watch a game. It is my job for most people. That is, unfortunately, an excuse that will not fly. But for Sean, especially that like him complaining about Christmas Day does not apply to him because you could tell your wife and your kids and your family. I have to watch a Giants game because it is literally part of my job.

Ninety nine point nine percent of America cannot say that you have a free excuse. Yes and no, because your wife could still be mad at you like she could understand it, but then she could be really annoyed at you. Oh, you can't miss one game. You have to go watch the game and not watch your daughters like unwrap their presents and the family time of that. And you know this, if the wife doesn't get things her way and she's annoyed at you, it's not a good day for you.

The game's at four thirty. I get it, but I'm just even though I don't want to defend Sean here, that's just like the one part of it where the out as you as you make it out to be is not as easy as an out as you as you just made it out to be. Work conflicts happen all the time. It does not mean people have to be happy with them. But it's like, I'm sorry, it's not my fault. I'm not the one scheduling it, but I got to watch the game.

Sorry. And they released the international games. Week four you have Falcons and Jaguars. Week five you'll have Jaguars and Bills.

Back to back weeks. I don't think the NFL should ever full time move a team to London. I know everyone is throwing out all the Jaguars, they'll be the team if that happens. I don't like how you're having a team play twice. I know they don't lose two home games because one's going to be a home game, one's going to be a road game. And you go once and it's a big money maker, I'm sure, for Jacksonville.

That's why they love to do that. But I don't love the idea of an NFL team ever moving to London on a full time basis. Like if you're going to tell me, I remember that report that we talked about a few months ago, they may like add like four teams, you'll have a whole division in London.

Like I don't even get how that would work. And I'm sure there'd be a lot of players, just for starters, that would say, yeah, I'm not going to go there. I'll find the team in the US instead of having to go and move over to London for five, six months out of the year. You also have Ravens and Titans, Dolphins and Chiefs, Colts and Patriots. So I guess we're not going to Foxborough for that game because the game's in Germany. But you have Dolphins, that's the one to me, out of all these leaks today, I don't care about the Christmas Day football triple header. New Year's Eve, I could live without football, but at 425, I'm not going to bitch about it. Black Friday, I don't care how you put Dolphins and Chiefs in Germany.

That's ridiculous. That game was supposed to be an arrowhead. And it was supposed to be the return of Tyreek Hill. Like that takes a lot of the juice out of that game, even though there's so much speed and so many awesome players, not having Tyreek Hill go back to arrowhead in Kansas City.

That sucks, Hickey. That's a bad job. That's the one thing people should be freaking out today is that they robbed Chiefs fans and NFL fans with how much smack Tyreek Hill has talked. He doesn't get to go face the music in front of the arrowhead fans.

That's a bad job. I would love for him on a touchdown to throw the deuces up to the stands or to the fans. That would have gone great. Or just be a no-show and get booed.

That's true. Done the John Gruden after a game if the Dolphins win, circle the stadium, go in the infamous victory lap. I could see Tyreek Hill having a field day if the Dolphins win or he has a big day.

It's not the same. Don't get me wrong, there's good football fans internationally, but that's a totally different ballgame when you have Tyreek Hill going back to a place where he started his NFL career and have maybe some animosity now between Chiefs fans and Tyreek Hill. That's a missed opportunity by the NFL. But in all seriousness, the NFL always wins.

They can do whatever you want and we're all a bunch of suckers. Y'all have people complain now, they do a Christmas Day triple header on a Monday. Everyone's gonna watch. The ratings are always enormous. And we're all suckers for football.

And we're all addicted to football as well. You're listening to the Zach Gelb Show. Sixers go to Boston last night and they walk out winners. There are three games to two in this series and this series will shift back to Philadelphia tomorrow evening. Let's head out to the guest line right now and welcome in the radio voice of the Boston Celtics and that of course is Sean Grandy.

Sean, appreciate the time all postseason long. The last few weeks we've been asking when are the Celtics gonna show up and have that killer instinct? A lot of people thought it was gonna happen last night with this series at two games apiece.

That was not the case. Just how surprised were you that they weren't able to display that killer instinct that so many people are asking them to show? I wasn't surprised the Sixers won the game. I was surprised at how it played out that it wasn't close and people think about the games last year that the Celtics famously lost at home. Game five to Milwaukee, game six in the conference finals to Miami which forced them to go on the road essentially to win the series and have these epic performances on the road. But those games were Bobby Portis grabbing a huge offensive rebound and Giraldi hitting a monster shot late and the Bucks steal in game five. Jimmy Butler having a game for the ages, duplicating the LeBron game from 2012 from Miami.

Those were special nights. Last night was a bludgeoning. It was just a bad.

The effort was obviously concerning. Lack of urgency was concerning and this team doesn't play its best until it has to and that's been the case and eventually your luck runs out like it did last year in game six at Golden State. And the similarities between the finals and this series are pretty striking when you look at one through five in the series of the games that have been played and that they closed games. The Celtics have badly outscored the Sixers. They've outshot them. They've out-rebounded them. They've done everything but they didn't win those close games. When you do a game like that, Zach was coming.

There hadn't been through the first four. There wasn't a single night where you said, man, the Sixers were the better team tonight until last night and that was due to happen when you have Harden and Embiid and that roster that Philadelphia has. People don't realize how good the Sixers are.

What a great year they had. When it comes to the mental side of this team, did they just overlook Philadelphia headed into this series? Because they've dominated. They've owned. Even asking Embiid, they've owned Philadelphia as of late.

I think that plays in at some level. It shouldn't at this point but it probably does because the Celtics have always found a way to beat them. The regular season thing is interesting and I know a lot of people, I think it's more a fan thing, an immediate thing and people sort of miss handicapping the series. Yeah, I understand making the Celtics a favorite. They're a more talented team but I don't think people just dramatically overstated the difference between the two teams because there were some close regular season games that went the Celtics way like the close games in the postseason series have gone the Sixers way. And listen, I was pretty dead on picking the Celtics games during the playoffs last year until the finals because I saw, here's the problem with the regular season. In March of last year, I called the game, I was doing a TV game when the Celtics were in San Francisco and if you saw the Celtics and Warriors that night in late March, and it wasn't early in the year, it was game 70 of the season last year. If you saw those two teams that night, you would think there was no way Golden State could beat the Celtics four times. They were not on the same plane just a couple of weeks before the playoffs started. Yet, times change and the Celtics, by the way, lost the game here in April and if you look at it one way and say, hey, they beat them 3-1 in the regular season series, you spin it another way, the Celtics hadn't beaten them since February and a lot of things changed since then.

Sean Grandy here with us. I know the Celtics team was down 3-2 last year to Milwaukee and they come back to win that series. Is there any way to be confident that they're going to go win these next two games? I don't think you can rule it out. Listen, you get anybody on here that says, hey, I know exactly what's going to happen in these Celtics games.

They have no credibility and they're outside their mind because you just have no idea. We've never seen anything like these home road splits in the last two years. The Celtics are now in the last two years 9-9 at home and they are 11-6 on the road, including 3-0 in closeout games.

They've been historically one of the best road teams in NBA history over the last two years, particularly with the money on the table, which is why I expect there to be a big-time performance last night. But remember, to win Game 6 in Milwaukee last year, Jason Tatum played the game of his life and he's probably going to have to do that again because the Sixers this year are playing better than Milwaukee was last year at that time. And Joel Embiid is a more dominant player when he's helped the knee braces off and the Celtics think about it this way.

They put themselves in this mess by losing the game to Atlanta that extended the Atlanta series. And as a result, the series of the Sixers started two days later, which is two more days for Embiid to get healthy. So Embiid would have missed the first two games and then been shaky in Game 3. And given the way things happened anyway, the Celtics very nearly swept the series. They could have easily won those games 1-4 and taken Embiid out of another game and we might not still be playing it. So many people are crushing Joel Missoula and clearly they'll go to Emi Adoka and say this wouldn't happen if he was there. How much of this performance so far do you put on the coach? Well listen, everybody shares responsibility and the coach shares responsibility in that too.

But I kind of phrase it this way. Let's say Jason Tatum at the end of Game 4, for all the mistakes that were made and everything that had Jaylin double teaming, Embiid, the open 3 in the corner, let's just say Jason Tatum goes earlier. Not 10 seconds earlier. Not 5 seconds earlier.

Let's say he goes a half second earlier on his drive. Marcus Smart makes the pass a half second earlier to Marcus Smart and Marcus Smart shoots it a half second earlier. Then the Celtics are up 3 games to 1 going into last night and nobody is saying a word about Joel Missoula.

I've heard obviously the same conversation. Doc Rivers has made all these adjustments and Joel Missoula hasn't. Well up until last night, the Celtics had outscored them by 41 points in the 4 games. Doc Rivers had to make adjustments because they were getting dominant even though it was a 2-2 series because they won the clutch minutes and they won those late games with James Harden clutch.

But territorially, point differential, net rating wise, how many adjustments do you need to make if you're the Celtics and you've outscored a team you're playing that you beat them 3-1 in the regular season and you played 4 games against them and outscored them by 41 points. Obviously the honest was on Doc to make adjustments. He did. He was great.

And now we'll find out. But listen, rookie head coach, as the owners like to say, was a battlefield promotion and nobody talked about it during the year because even though the Celtics weren't supposed to crumble under this inexperienced youngest head coach in the league, they had the best body of work in the league. They finished the game behind Milwaukee.

Best scoring differential, net rating in the league. And nobody thought about it until it became a talking point in the playoffs. So everybody's got to kind of grow up tomorrow night.

Sean Grandy here with us. You're right about game 4. But with them taking so long to get going, it's like, okay, they had that in them with what they showed in the fourth quarter. What surprised me last night was being in their building with that crowd and how great those fans are. How you don't show up in that first quarter at home, that to me is something that I just don't understand.

You're not alone. And I think it's why it looks identical to last year going on the road in game six, but it doesn't feel that way because of the way the game went. Now, as I said, if you had said to me through five games, there's going to be two games that the Celtics look like the best team. There's going to be one game that the Sixers look like the best team. And there were going to be two games that are toss up. That would have sounded about right to me. You know, when you match up the rushes, just that this game happened to MB was going to have a game like that.

He absolutely was. But there's no question that the effort and the crowd, when you do that on the road, as the Celtics had done repeatedly the last two years, you can sort of turn the crowd against the home team, particularly when they're not bringing the effort or the urgency. And it's puzzling.

It was disturbing. And I think whatever is going on and all the talkie-head shows and everything that the Celtics have gotten today and are going to get until the game tips tomorrow, there's no other way to say it than they earned it with that performance last night. If they don't go on to come on back or they don't find the way to get to the finals and win it this year, I know Jalen Brown has a year left on his contract. Will this be his last season, what we're seeing right now with the Celtics?

Well, it's funny we're talking right now because the answer to that question may change in about an hour or two when they release the All-NBA teams because Jalen Brown makes All-NBA. That changes the dynamic of what he's eligible for if he were to stay in Boston. And essentially, not to give anybody a popsicle headache with the CBA, but essentially Jalen Brown can go supermax earlier in Boston and make a lot more money essentially by staying. So that dynamic is an immediate reaction to a painful loss for people who had already filled out their brackets and had the Celtics go into the finals. And then not underestimating Philly, you're going to be angry and you're going to want to say, oh, this isn't going to work, I'm going to blow it up.

Well, when you're the second best team or the third best team or the fourth best team, whatever the Celtics have been the last couple of years, including this year if they don't win, blowing it up is a real dangerous thing to do. Because there's about 25 or 26 teams that want to be where you are that would do anything to get Jalen Brown and Jason Payton together. Jalen's done a lot of interviews and a lot of conversations. He said, I'm going to go where I'm needed, I'm going to go where I'm wanted. And he's pretty wanted and needed in Boston. And I think grass is going to look greener until you realize, I've seen a lot of Intel linking him with E. May Wright and Houston.

How many years is Houston away from sniffing the altitude where the Celtics are currently flying and would be in the next couple of years if he chose to stay? So, Sean, we got to run. I apologize. I have a hard out.

Thanks so much. We appreciate their Sean Grandy, the voice of the Celtics.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-10 20:23:24 / 2023-05-10 20:40:44 / 17

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