Live from the play show yet not overly ostentatious studios of CBS Sports Radio here in beautiful Centennial, Colorado, this is a Wednesday edition of the Zach Gelb show across all the great local CBS Sports Radio affiliates Sirius XM channel 158 and that free Odyssey app 855212 for CBS is the number to jump on in 855212-4227. You can always get at me on Instagram where I'm straight flexing or via the good ol' cesspool of Twitter at Zach Gelb.
That's Z-A-C-H-G-E-L-B. Guest wise, coming up this evening, 40 minutes from now Alex Solano will join us from the Miami Heat Radio Network. This pre and post former NFL cornerback, two-time Super Bowl champion Brian McFadden will be stopping by the show an hour from now.
And then at 9.20 PM Eastern, 6.20 PM Pacific from the Boston Globe is going to be Gary Washburn. This is CBS Sports Radio back in our New York City headquarters. There's no other than Hot Take Kiki.
Hot Take Kiki. Kiki, you gotta like the way that I dressed this up right now because I'm not actually at a CBS Sports Radio studio in Centennial, Colorado. I'm actually at my sister's and brother-in-law's house as I was supposed to, as a lot of people know if you listen to this show, not be on the air tonight. I had tickets for game five between the Denver Nuggets and the Los Angeles Lakers. I still made the trip out here to see some family and be uncle of the year for my niece Raquel and make the trip out here to Colorado.
Got in today, was up at 4.30 AM Eastern time. And when this show is over tonight, I will quickly probably be eating some dinner and then going to bed shortly after that because it's been a long day. But I still made the trip out here and I'm really disappointed. And thankfully now the Celtics have showed some life and they showed a little bit of heart. So this series can't continue. But with the NBA Finals not starting until June 1st, you look back at that Lakers Nuggets series.
Don't get me wrong. Two thumbs up to the Denver Nuggets. What Nicole Jokic has done along with Jamal Murray has been absolutely incredible and they're finally getting that national respect that they've been deserving of all throughout the season. But to have the Western Conference Finals already over, who knows how long the Eastern Conference Finals are going to go on for. At least we know that we'll at least get Thursday. And in the hockey world, it looks like both of those two series are going to be over rather quickly with the Golden Knights up 3-0 and the Florida Panthers up 3-0. We're kind of hitting the part of the sports calendar, Hickey, where there should be a lot going on, but it's going to be a long week, especially if the Miami Heat wrap things up at TD Garden coming up on Thursday night.
Absolutely. We were well, at least with hockey, they would have started early, but I was going to say we were staring at at least it felt like a week in terms of dead time and no big games going on as we just wait because these series all ended way sooner than anyone would have thought. And I actually may be going to a Stanley Cup final game. It's about 50-50, but I may be making the trip down to Florida. I have a, I want to say a loose invite to the game where a buddy of mine who works in the NHL said if I wanted to go to the Stanley Cup final at Florida gets there. If I want to make the trip with him, I probably could.
I followed up on that the other day and he said let's just make sure we see when the dates are and if it could fit into your schedule. So I think actually I'll be attending one of those games of the Stanley Cup final and assuming that the Miami Heat do find a way to advance the NBA finals like I could potentially do maybe a double dip if it does line up hickey when I'm in Florida. Do we do any guarantees for you to lock up, make sure that the Panthers and heater both in the finals at the same time.
You know this is still a very sensitive subject you just say the word and I'll do it for you. Now, I'm very annoyed because I asked you right before this Lakers Denver series started to guarantee that it would be a sweep, therefore we would get a game five because like right now, I should probably be at like a dispensary in Colorado or a few beers deep as well getting ready to go see the Nuggets go to the NBA finals, but the fact that you said it was a guarantee that I would get a game five. That means it goes the other way so I was kind of hoping last round that you were to guarantee a sweep, but you weren't being a good friend so you're kind of skating on thin ice so I'd be careful with that sarcasm if I were you know I'm coming from a good place. I mean who I again I thought the Lakers would have showed up and got one game. I mean the heater up three one no need to panic their Panthers up three oh no need to panic there so I get I just say the word, and I will scream out the G word for you and I'll make sure that your trip to the to South Florida maybe get a little double dip here Stanley Cup NBA finals, that will happen.
I did think I learned my lesson though. Now it depends on the dates the first two home games for Denver just didn't work out. But if I have the choice of when I could go to the Stanley Cup final let's just say it does not conflict with my work schedule at all.
I guess I have to do one of the first two games now Florida is going to be on the road, regardless of who they play and it looks like it's going to be the Golden Knights and we know how great of a record they had this past year because Florida had the least amount of points out of any team in the postseason so even though I would anticipate that to be a good series and even though Florida has the fewer points, I would imagine that Florida is going to win the Stanley Cup final. I think if I'm going to go I would have to lock myself into three and four, because I don't want to do one of these trips again, where I booked the flight, and then make the arrangements to go stay somewhere you know this time is easy because my my sister and brother in law live here but if I'm going to Florida I'm gonna have to go get a hotel, you know, maybe stop by grandma's house as well down in Boca, but I have to guarantee that there's going to actually be a game because it was pretty stressful, it was actually fun, but then really disappointing watching that game for between the Lakers and the Nuggets just because how back and forth it was, and the Lakers got out of the gate and they were cruising they finally showed up in that series and then the third quarter Denver takes over, but for it to come down to last few possessions in the fourth quarter, and a bizarre way hickey, even though it did not go in my favor and it did not swing to advantage that gel, but with the final result, it was actually very fun in a series that was over it was over after it was to Oh, I got in the air when I was filling in for Maggie and purl off and I said that this series over to the Vince Carter gift, because there's no way the nuggets are the to lead we're going to blow that when they're just a much better team than the Los Angeles Lakers but to watch that game for which was pretty much meaningless to most people to have a little skin in the game have the tickets tickets are still my phone I just got the refund actually today, it made the game a lot more entertaining, even though that was a very close game down to the wire of being a two point game. Oh yeah, I mean all four games were close and you know, big fourth quarters from the nuggets to put it away but at least the series, while very short was exciting and yes, having a chance with LeBron ball in his hand to sending it over time I mean look like said it was, you're down three oh we've never seen a three oh comeback was not going to happen, but at least to get a game five that was an important game five would have, it was, yes, it was unfortunately did not go the way that we both thought now I did some investigating the last 24 hours or so, and I had someone reach out to, to me that knows you very well. And they said you were fist pumping and you were celebrating. When Denver stopped LeBron at the end to go up for Oh, because it meant that I wasn't going to be able to go to game five, that is what a source reached out and told me if I told you who the source was, it would make you very very very afraid that that sources is talking to me and giving me that information. Wow, that's maybe there's two right Nick is because I my hands were my face I should say is in my palms. I knew all of a sudden now I was gonna get basically old takes exposed, you're lying or guaranteeing and not to mention I mean selfishly is I was looking forward to talking to the audience tonight, talk a little heat Celtics and and filling in for you and unfortunately and LeBron James couldn't make that happen.
Are you sure you want to go with this act, because I'll wrap the source app like this doesn't help my career so I'll wrap the source out, let's let's put the source underneath, throw the source right underneath the bus. I got a DM from your girlfriend, who told you that lolly. She told me that you were celebrating you're like yeah Zach, he's not gonna be able to go to game five he's such a jerk anyway doesn't treat me nicely, and you were celebrating fist pumping around the apartment, that's what your girlfriend told me. Well hope she's not hanging with another Ryan, because that was interesting.
So you're still going to deny that you're still gonna lie to buy. Oh yeah, so now you're calling your girlfriend I was upset. To be honest, selfish Oh my Oh boy, this is a, you know, love filling in for you. Let's go Zach's at the game, and then poof, just like that went away so no it was. I'll be honest, I was reading how even though I picked the nuggets to win I was your heart for the Lakers in that especially that third quarter they were unfortunately letting me slip. Folks, if you're listening one of our great 200 affiliate Sirius XM channel 158 and the free Odyssey app just know Hickey is lying right now to you, and you can no longer trust anything he ever says, by the way, to the game last night Celtics and heat. It's such a weird reaction, because I don't want to say the majority of the people today, feel this way, but I've been hearing from a lot of people, all the Celtics aren't done now, and I kind of agree with it just to what extent does that mean Do I think Boston is winning the series, absolutely not. But I do think this series which I thought was going to be over last night because Boston showed zero heart in game three, it was pathetic it was lethargic it was one of the weaker efforts you've seen in a must win type of game from a team it was kind of, I don't want to say on par with what the Phoenix Suns have done, because that was even worse but it's kind of in that category.
They could be synonymous with one another. But last night, even when they were trailing going into halftime that a dominant third quarter, and Boston, for the first time this series showed why they're a better team than the Miami Heat. And here's why I'm going to say I kind of agree with people now saying that this is a series, even though it's three one. And it depends how you define that I think this is going to six games now, if you would have told me that last night, I would have said, What are you smoking What are you drinking. There's no way that this series is going to six games, and I know Boston has had trouble showing up in their own building, but I have a tough time seeing, even though this Boston team is a team that their players aren't hateable but the way that they play, it really turns you off because you know that there should be a killer instinct in there, and they just don't have that killer instinct and they dogged it through the first two rounds of the playoffs. They've finally put their, their hands on the stove again, and they've been burned now being buried down 302 now being three one, but I have a tough time hickey envisioning, even with how bad that they've been at home this year, the Boston Celtics losing all three games at home in this series, I gotta think that this is going back to Miami that it will go to Boston Boston I'm not saying it's gonna be a blood I think will be a close game now Vegas, they think that this game is going to be a blowout because I don't know if you got a chance to see the spread, but the spread was that like eight and a half, nine, nine and a half points, and that is is begging, I know Vegas and and and a lot of people have not showed respect to the Miami heat, even when they're winning the spread right now, which been moving all over the place is now at Boston at eight that's screaming Vegas wants you to plus the points with the heat so I'm assuming Vegas is anticipating a Boston Celtics blowout in game five like I'm not ready to go there, but I do think, and I can't say confidently, but I do think Boston will win the series because it kind of seems right already losing the first two home games that they do get one home game. That is the case that sets up an enormous game six because if the heat lose in game five. There's a pressure then starts to shift where even though with Jimmy Butler you should be able to get another win, but then this series goes from being three points over to if you don't win game six, you put yourself in a very very very tough spot, going back to TD garden for game seven so long, long answer short here. I will say that the Miami heat win this series and six but hickey, I do think this is going to six games and I would have never have said that you could ask me that 1000 times yesterday, and I would have never said this series would be going back to Miami, but you're not alone you Charles Barker like I said many all of a sudden now, after the winter over basically penciling a return trip to Miami basically saying game five is a lock.
I don't really get it. The Celtics are bad home team the playoffs. There are four and five this year.
There was doesn't that fit well done. Wait, but if you're going to say they're four and five this year and they already lost two games in that series doesn't that kind of line up for them to get a winning game five. Really, not necessarily they're not a consistent team. So why should I think that now going home all of a sudden that they're do, or they're going to play well at home just because they already showed the inconsistency the bad part so now you would think that you're on a little bit of run of having a good stretch right, I know, not for me, they don't deserve the benefit of that out.
Not this, not at this point. So out of 100% game five at TD Garden they've already lost two games in this series only two games at home in this series for Boston. What's the percentage that you're given Boston to win the game. 25%.
Wow, so you think it's 75% so you will be blessing the eight points then. Oh, with the Miami heat underdog is undefeated in this series I think that continues. He didn't five. Man, so you've altered that prediction, because see, this is where you're stupid. You originally said heat and six. Right, you should you should you get stubborn with your predictions. So you should stay with that prediction and say that this is going back to Miami for six, and then the heat will get it done now that you've altered that prediction.
I don't want to see you be taking any bows. If Miami ends up winning this series and six because you've already altered and change the prediction, five or six I don't think the games to me are relevant as much as the team you pick. And with so many people picking the Celtics, whether the heat went in five, the heat went in six, he went in seven.
I think it's all the same. I picked the heat to win, they win the series I don't care how much like we both picked the Nuggets to win the series. I believe you said six, I don't want to quote you from wrong there. I said either six or five. I'm going to pull Roger Clemens here but this is actually genuine I do misremember if it was five or six, five or six, or all that because we're both wrong in terms of how many games the Nuggets one and but doesn't mean our predictions we said the Nuggets are going to win the series. I don't think that that means we're wrong because you said five or six and I said six and they wanted for, you know, I've never had a poll question by the way, that's featured for answers with a poll question being up this long have one answer receive 0% of the vote. Here's the poll question today Hickey, which you can always find on Twitter at Zach Yelp ZCH GLB and we'll retweet it at CBS Sports Radio as well. How does the heat Celtic series end here your four options Hickey heat and five heat and six heat and seven Celtics and seven. What do you think the 0% option is right now. I would say 0% being heat and seven.
You're correct. Right now 0% say heat and 717.2% say Celtics and 740.9% say heat and five and 41.9% say heat insects, and if you look back at the Boston performance last night and my answer is he didn't six Boston finally got the three point shots to fall. And let's not beat around the bush here, it's the obvious, Jason Tatum showed up and Jason Tatum played like the star that he should be in this league. And I give him credit for that, at least they didn't put their tail in between their legs and just go to Cancun and and already get the the the offseason started and and really just enjoy their offseason so I give Boston credit in finding a way to to extend this series now I'm not sitting here telling you they're going to win this series because I don't believe that because I do agree with you. They've been an inconsistent team, but I want to now see how long that they could take this and for the sake of what we do, and also just usually how these things do play out. I just I'll take the odds that this thing will go to six, and the Miami will find a way to close out Boston on their home court because that would be a really tough look Hickey for the Celtics. Not only if they lose, but if they lose all three games that they had at TD Garden, and they go and they go down in front of their home crowd and I hope that Boston crowd is, is just attacking tomorrow night, their own team, like if Boston comes out of the gate and even if they're down like eight too early.
I want that building to turn on that team rather quickly, because that's a great building. That's a great fan base, and that fan base may need to wake up those home players but it's do or die time. I know Boston's kind of channeling their inner Boston Red Sox, when they were down three Oh, against the Yankees and Kevin Millar was like don't let us win this one and now Jaylen Brown is pretty much doing that all over again. I'm not believing in Boston, in terms of winning the series but I do believe that they'll find a way to get this back to Miami and the Miami, because Jimmy Butler, he has a killer instinct, he has what Boston needs and Butler will find a way to win one more game like it this ends up being Celtics and seven Hickey, I would be really really shocked. Same, and we will be talking about history as well which is I mean if you're the heat that's the one thing at this point you're trying to avoid, that's for sure. It is that guilt show on CBS Sports Radio How long do you think this heat Celtic series going to go Hickey says it's over in five games and the Miami heat will close it out tomorrow night I think the series go a little bit longer, and Miami will win this thing in six games that guilt show CBS Sports Radio come back from Colorado.
After these short message. You're listening to the Zach Gelb show it is Zach Gelb show coast to coast on CBS Sports Radio so Hickey during the break I was watching this clip from Good Morning Football, and I guess they did this as a segment today. This is Gerald McCoy, Peter Schrager, Jason McCourty, and then I believe it's Sarah Walsh, and they asked the question, who is your surprise contender in 2023, and when it comes to the NFL, I want to just have you guess so Gerald McCoy, he picked the AFC team surprised AFC contender.
Who do you think Gerald McCoy did go with and let me say this, I on each person I will tell you how big of a surprise, I view it. This would be an enormous surprise stupid question this is like Super Bowl contender right or playoff contender. I think it was more so playoff content playoff contender. Okay.
I think it depends how you interpret it. I think for two of them it was to make the playoffs. And then the other two may have been to go make a deep playoff run but this first one Gerald McCoy, I see the whiteboard right in front of me where he wrote this down this would be an enormous surprise, enormous surprise playoff contender in the AFC, I will go with the Raiders.
You're right. I didn't think you would guess the Raiders because you hate the Raiders because of Josh McDaniels. But it would be a big surprise if that they are taught you know, in contention for a plow spot with Jimmy G and Brian Hoyer. Yeah, I think if all things go right for the Raiders this year. They're the third team in the AFC West, because we know the Chiefs are number one, the Chargers are number two. And then I believe the Raiders are fighting with the Broncos, where there's a lot of question marks with both those teams right now. And offensively, there's talent there if they're healthy, you have Devonta Adams, you have Josh Jacobs, I mean, Jimmy G is a, we'll say a solid quarterback with the weapons you have around them game manager. Yeah. And it's just the health of him is, is a concern the defense is a major concern Josh McDaniels the coaching abilities are concerned that the division that runs a big concern. So there are a lot of negatives but yeah in terms of like surprise team that, I mean, would it be crazy if they're sitting there at nine and eight, knock on the door, I would say.
Yes, but it's in terms of this exercise, not, not, it's not impossible, not impossible. And now Brady's a minority owner there too. That is so maybe he'll bring the winning gene over. Josh McDaniels can't win without Tom Brady so that's why he's back in that organization would be what I would say, maybe now all of a sudden we should start saying Super Bowl contender. I would actually love to see the Raiders make the playoffs this year, just to see how you would handle it, just to see you squirm about it and you freak out because there's been one coach that has really made two coaches that have really made you irate throughout our time working together. And one of them is clearly Josh McDaniels Do you know the other one is the guy that I hear you just pop off about the most and I happen to like the guy. Pete Carroll. No, it's not Pete Carroll, you believe in Pete Carroll, it's not NFL related college football. Oh, you, you really dislike this one coach I've heard you say a lot of mean things about this coach, and I happen to think I happen to be a fan of this coach, and I like his style, and he's been on with us before and I was very impressed when he came on this show. Pat Narduzzi.
Yep, it is Narduzzi. You can't stand Narduzzi. Well he just, he just, the way he treats the Penn State rivalry and tries to be a hardo about it, it's just, it's annoying.
It's annoying. Well you also think you're a lot better than what your team has actually been the last few years though so. Well they have spanked Narduzzi's team a few times so. Who won a conference championship more recently? Well, I mean he won in the ACC, congratulations.
Well hey, I will give Pat his flowers, congratulations. Well your team really hasn't shown a pulse up against Michigan, and I know that they played Ohio State well for what the first three quarters this year but you didn't beat them. No, they got blown up at Michigan, lost to Ohio State last year. Two of the best teams, two teams that were in the College World playoff.
Yeah, no, nothing else to say. You're trying to prop up these Penn State losses. No, the loss is a loss. They should have won and didn't. So Sarah Walsh, her prediction, it's an NFC team. I wouldn't say that this is a major surprise. I would say it would be like a little bit of a surprise, but it's not overly shocking if this team made the playoffs. Hmm, NFC team not a big surprise. I will go with the Packers.
No, and I'll give you a hint here. There's only one way this team can make the playoffs and it's by winning their division. Winning the division, so I'm going to then take that as the NFC South.
That would be correct. I will go with the Atlanta Falcons. Yep, they have a lot of talent. Now, you look at that team and you see they just got Bijan Robinson. If Kyle Pitts could stay healthy, Algier was there running back last year. He was really solid as well.
Drake London now coming into year number two. They got some talent on that team. The question just becomes, and they were a gritty team last year, but the question becomes what the heck is Desmond Ritter? Desmond Ritter was a really nice story at Cincinnati, made the college football playoff, but I legitimately have no expectations this year for Desmond Ritter. If you tell me that team wins a division, I wouldn't be shocked. If you tell me that they win five games and looking for a new quarterback in the first round of the draft next year, that wouldn't surprise me whatsoever. If they were in any other division in the NFC, I would say no chance of the plus, but they are in the absolute right division.
Like you said, you get okay quarterback play from Desmond Ritter. You go 8-9. You win the division.
Absolutely. Right division. People in this division last year, 8-9 won that division. That was with Tom Brady, and Tom Brady is no longer in this division. Baker Mayfield, give me a break.
The one that likes him is you. He's now in Tampa Bay. Carolina, you have Bryce Young, but you don't have a lot around Bryce Young. You look at the Saints. I know they have Derek Carr by default. A lot of people are just going to give them the benefit of the doubt, but it's not like I'm blown away by the Saints team. Atlanta last year, they went 7-10. So they were right there in play for that division where it was Tampa Bay 8-9 and then you had Carolina, New Orleans, and Atlanta all 7-10.
If Ritter could just get them to be okay and be average in the NFC South, which is 8-9, probably 8-9 wins that division. Which, for the path of not being terribly surprising for the playoffs, the Falcons, there's a path there, absolutely. Okay, now let's get to the other two teams. And I'm assuming since both of these teams were playoff teams a year ago, it's to go make a deep playoff run. Peter Schrager has an NFC team. Who do you think the NFC team is? Surprise deep playoff run. Alright, I got two teams here. I will say he's going to go with... And one of these teams I'm very high on. Give me your two guesses though. Who do you think your two guesses are? I was going to say the Giants and the Vikings. Wrong and wrong. Seahawks.
Yep. And I look at Seattle, they could be, could, I'm not saying they are, but they could be the third best team in the NFC. The two best teams in the NFC, Philadelphia and San Francisco. Outside of that, Dallas has had what, back to back 12 win seasons, so they're a really good team, but then they always fail come postseason time. You look around in the NFC North, alright, you could tell me, you could make a case for Detroit, but you could equally make the same case for Minnesota.
No one in the South is a third best team in the NFC. And then you look at the NFC West, I look at a team like Seattle, you know, 49ers are going to win that division. It's not crazy to say, especially with the talent that they have on the offensive side of the ball, we'll see how much regression there is, if at any at all, by Geno Smith. And then you would expect there to be some, but you have DK Metcalf, you have Tyler Lockett, and you just drafted who I think is the best wide receiver in this past draft class in Jackson Smith and Jigba. Oh yeah, and by the way, you have Kenneth Walker, who I thought was the best running back coming out of the draft last year, a year ago, not this past draft, and you just snagged Zach Charbonnet, the running back from UCLA. You got some pieces there in Seattle. I know woolen just got hurt but he's a good defensive back as well.
We'll see when he comes on back. You got some pieces there in Seattle, where maybe they could go win a playoff game or or to this upcoming year like it would not shock if you tell me either Philadelphia or the 49ers don't get to the NFC title game. If you had to pick one team to get there, I would not be surprised if it's Seattle because they have a coach that I believe in, and they have a roster that I think is pretty damn good right now.
Very solid roster. The biggest question really is obviously going to be Geno Smith, how he plays. You're higher on Geno this year than me.
That's really what it's going to come down to, especially in terms of playoff viability and how deep the Seahawks can go. It's also going to be on Geno Smith's shoulders for sure. Well, it's not that I'm high on Geno Smith.
I'm just high on the situation. Even if Geno Smith regresses this year, he threw for almost 4300 yards last year, completed nearly 70% of his passes, goes 30 touchdowns, 11 interceptions. Even if he drops down to like 27 touchdowns and 14 picks and completes 65% of his passes, in an NFC that is not great and is top heavy with two teams, that could be good enough to go win a few playoff games this upcoming year. It also depends on how it breaks down, if you're playing the 49ers again like they did last year.
It's tough, but yeah, no. Again, the NFC is open. It's definitely a lot easier path than the AFC, that's for sure. And then finally, who do you think Jason McCourty selected? AFC team contender. Dolphins. Surprise contender.
Who was that? Dolphins? No, not the Dolphins. You're thinking too hard. Surprise contender playoff team last year, right?
Or no? Yeah, yep. You're thinking too hard on this one. Jaguars.
You don't need to think that hard. Yep, it's Jacksonville. Are they a surprise?
Well, they're like a little bit of a surprise, because here's why. I fully agree with Jason McCourty. You have a great coach in Doug Peterson, and you have a quarterback who I think is great in Trevor Lawrence, who by the way is now adding Calvin Ridley from the, you know, off the gambling suspension, and you had a really smart move by Trent Baalke and company, and making that trade when he was kind of out of sight, out of mind, and finding a way to get a guy that could be a number one wide receiver for, you know, let's just say a distance.
Let's just say a discounted price and what the, what the trade return was. You look at the AFC. If I asked people to say, who's your AFC Super Bowl contenders? I think three, I think everyone would say these three teams, Kansas City, Cincinnati, and then the Buffalo Bills. And then if I asked for a fourth, I do think right now, people will go with the Jets just because Rogers is there, but you look at the Jaguars in a bad division, they could win a lot of games, improve that seed, and they won a playoff game last year, and really Trevor Lawrence's first true year in the league because I give him a break with the Urban Meyer disaster. And they gave that I know Mahomes had the bum ankle, but they give they give Kansas City everything and then some in that game as well. They did, which is why like sure that the AFC is top heavy. I just don't know if I would like consider that a surprise.
I would think it would be a little bit of a surprise, just because once again, I don't think a lot of people are talking about them as going to an AFC title game or potentially going to a Super Bowl this year. Alrighty, let's take a break on the Zach Gelb show on CBS Sports Radio. We'll tap in to the Miami Heat. Is there any concern them dropping their first game in this series, although they're up 3-1 as they head back to Boston, a man that does pre and post for the Miami Heat Radio Network on WQAM.
Alex Solano will join us on the other side. Now back to the Zach Gelb show. Alrighty, we continue this Zach Gelb show coast to coast on CBS Sports Radio. About damn time the Boston Celtics have finally showed a pulse in this series. It is now 3-1 in favor of the Miami Heat. And we are surprisingly going back to Boston for a Game 5 coming up tomorrow night. Let's head out to the guest line right now and welcome in Alex Solano. Does a great job pre and post on the Heat Radio Network on WQAM and he's kind enough to join us once again. Solano, what's happening man?
Zach, I got to be honest, I'm a little disappointed. This one's headed back to Boston. I thought I'd have a nice 8-day vacation ahead of me, but Tatum and the rest of that squad decided, how about we knock down a couple 3's in Game 4 and here we are, back to the TD Garden. Well a little birdie told me you did some premature celebration and that you already had dinner lined up tonight with your lady friend. Where are you guys going?
That's my question. I want to know where you guys are going. Where's the big hot date tonight? Oh no, we're just going to grab a couple pub subs at our local supermarket at Publix. Chicken tender subs. That's my hot date tonight.
That's what I got set up. Nah, nah, I'm just joking. We're headed to... You better be because the pub sub, I would dump your ass if I was your girlfriend. Nah, we're headed to a nice Italian restaurant here in my area.
I live in Kendall, which is like Southwest Miami-Dade. It's just like a local restaurant here, but I was expecting a nice vacation. We're going to go sit down, watch the Panthers game tonight. They're trying to do the same thing that the Heat were unable to do last night. I think Miami fans are a little disappointed that there was no trophy celebration last night. The Panthers are going to win the Stanley Cup, by the way. Oh, that's a hot take. I like it though. They're playing like it right now, man.
Is it really a hot take? They're up 3-0 in the conference final. I know that they're probably going to get Vegas, and Vegas is a tremendous team. They've been in the league for six years, and they've already been to four conference finals. And their one win away from going to their second Stanley Cup final drives me nuts. A team six years into the league is trying to do something I just hope my team can do one day, and that's eventually win a Stanley Cup, and they've been in as good a position as anybody. But this Panthers team isn't as bad as the way that they played at times this year, and I don't think they're that far off. And they're showing it now from that team a year ago, which ironically won the President's Trophy, as you know, and ended up getting swept out of the second round.
Yeah, isn't it so funny? We keep talking about how for the first time ever, two teams from the same area, because the Panthers don't play in Miami, two teams from the same area, the South Florida area, are in the Eastern Conference Finals that I don't believe it's ever happened before during the same sporting season. But how about, you know the Spiderman meme, Zach, where it's just one Spiderman pointing at the other? How about both of these teams last year being the best in their conference? The Heat were the number one overall seed in the Eastern Conference, and the Panthers won the President's Trophy. And then in exactly the exact same time of the year, the following year, both teams underachieved. They were both up and down, as mediocre as it gets, right? The epitome of mediocrity throughout the regular season. Both teams, at times, on the outside looking into the postseason, the Panthers were basically playing playoff hockey towards the middle of March, just so that they can clinch their way into a playoff position. And we know all about the Heat and how they lost to the Hawks in the plane tournament, and were down five with four minutes to go to the Bulls on the outside looking into the playoffs as well. And then both teams, as eight seeds, just pull off one of the most remarkable postseason runs from either of them, right? It's a conversation down here we're having all the time. Which one has been more impressive?
And I don't think there is a right answer. I think both equally as impressive. So, it's crazy. And you're right, you know, picking the Panthers right now to win is not a hot take.
I still think Vegas is going to end up being the favorites. But, with that being said, Bob Roski right now, I think I read a stat he has scored on in just an insane amount of periods. So, he's playing unbelievable hockey. We always talk about, or I always heard it being said, Zach, in hockey it's all about getting the hot goaltending. And then that will prove to be pivotal going into the playoffs.
I always kind of just thought that was a cliche, right? Something people said when you're talking about hockey. Well, I'm finally watching it now. And it's coming to fruition. I'm seeing what hot goaltending can do to a team. It's been a hell of a ride watching the Panthers do what they're doing. And your best players in your top six are showing up as well.
So, that's enormous. And you see what Kuchuk has been able to do in both those games out in Carolina, which is a tough building to play and get victories. They've been tremendous at home in the postseason the last few years.
Alex Alana here with us. To answer your question, I would say that the Heat are more impressive because this happens so many times in hockey where a team just gets in the postseason and they find a way to get on a run. You mentioned that the Heat were down in the second playing game with the few minutes left and now they're one win away from going to the NBA Finals.
It's just crazy. But then you could also argue Florida was down 3-1 to Boston who had the most points and the most wins in the history of the league. Yeah, and with the Heat, for me, as somebody down here, I never really followed the Panthers too closely until I started working for the flagship, which is where I work now, 560. I've always been somebody that kept a very close eye on the Miami Heat. They've really been the only organization down here that has continued to win. Since the time I was a young kid in 2006, I was in 5th grade and the Miami Heat were winning titles and they were contending for them since the time they went out and they got Shaq. Even after that, I know the Miami Heat went through that period three or four years prior to the Big Three, but they refused to tank. It was this idea that they were going to try to always field the most competitive possible team that they can. Even after the Big Three, they stuck with that and it's paid off for them. Three separate eras and 17 years, they've had opportunities to go to the Finals. 40% of the time, the Eastern Conference Finals winner in the last 17 years has been Miami, if they can pull it off this year.
That is remarkable. That's just winning at its finest on a consistent level that South Florida hasn't seen since Dan Marino. Even prior to that, since the Dolphins have been, you want to talk about mediocrity, it's been the Dolphins in my lifetime for the past two-plus decades, which is why people are so hyped about Tua. I expected something like this from the Heat.
Not necessarily what transpired, but this type of performance. You would say, okay, it makes sense with Miami because they're so stable and they've had the head coach that has blossomed here out of the video room. With the Panthers, they've kind of been a laughing stock in the National Hockey League. Even last year, the Tampa Bay Lightning just proved again, they're their daddies. It didn't matter what the Panthers did. Cute little President's Trophy run.
Well, guess what? Here come the big bad Lightning who own you four hours north to the west. For me, it was the Panthers to put this on. By the way, they announced Bill Zito today, a finalist for the General Manager of the Year Award in the NHL. You want to talk about guts, trading your all-time points leader in franchise history and Jonathan Huberto to bring in Matthew Tkachuk, probably a guy 70% of the fan base hadn't even heard of just because that's how people cover hockey down here in South Florida.
And he has turned into a total badass for this organization. So for me, it's the Panthers like this really is an improbable run down three games to one. It's something that I don't think people were expecting down here and they really are the talk of the town right now. Alex Solana, is the Heat fan nervous today? They're up 3-0. They lose the game last night. It's still 3-1. Do you sense some nervousness from the Heat fan today?
I don't think so. And most of the techs that were coming in, we didn't take any calls, but most of the techs that were coming in were, hey, Bam Adebayo has to wake up and things of that nature, everybody kind of picking on Bam. But I just think yesterday, you look at the Celtics, that third quarter that they put together, it's what I was expecting in game three. They were down 15.
That's not an impossible deficit to overcome. And the Celtics, to me, just look like they kind of quit on Joe Missoula. And part of it is the Heat were just playing spectacular and hitting all their threes. What I saw from the Celtics yesterday is what I was expecting to see from the Celtics in game three, and it never came. They shoot 57%, 25 of 44 from three in that second half. I mean, that's the type of Celtics team I was expecting to see at some point this series. They generated 19 wide open threes in game four. Anthony Chang, who covers the Heat team, he posted this earlier today, they were averaging just 14 wide open threes per game in the first three games of this series.
So I was expecting it at some point. Celtics are a good team, right? Everybody knows that. The fact that the Heat were up 3-0, stole the first two, I think surprised a lot of people down here. And you don't sweep very good teams easily. But yesterday, the Heat, what they did so well through the first three games besides shooting the basketball, they shot just 35% in the second half, was executing down the stretch. And even after an 18-0 run from Boston, and even after lights out shooting from Boston in the second half, the Heat early in that fourth, they still had their opportunities. And it was like a 12-point game.
They had to score and they turned it over. They just played the type of basketball they hadn't been playing in this postseason, which is why they're up 3-0. I don't think Heat fans are nervous. I don't think people think down here Boston can sustain that level of shooting because they haven't through the first three games. And I think Jimmy Butler kind of calmed everybody. He said, hey, we'll get some wine, we'll get some beer, we'll settle down, and we'll go win one on the road. Yeah, and you know Butler will show that killer instinct. I don't think it will happen in Game 5.
I'm going to go Heat in 6, but I got to bounce. I hear the music playing. Alex Alana from the Heat Radio Network, we appreciate you as always. Thank you, Zach. Coming on back, Zach Elbstow, CBS Sports Radio.
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