Garnett, Celtics 'baking' for a cause

745282.jpg

Garnett, Celtics 'baking' for a cause

After Sundays blowout victory, Kevin Garnett said something very Kevin Garnettish about the Celtics chemistry.

It involved baking, waiting, results and rhythm, and Im sure youve seen it by now, but here it is again (Courtesy of Ben Rohrbach at WEEI):

I always like to use baking a cake as an example, he said. Nothings going to come out of the first two minutes. You have to sit there and wait on it, for yall who know how to bake. Some of yall dont know how to bake, but dont worry about it. Ask your mothers and fathers or something someone who knows how to bake. But its very similar to that. You have to give it time for it to turn into what its going to be. Time tells everything when the results come, and Im just glad were in a nice rhythm right now.

Now, this has all the key components of a typical Kevin Garnett analogy.

First, it takes an otherwise simple concept and makes it sound like rocket science. As if there's only a select class of culinary-inclined human beings who understand the basic principles of baking a cake.

Second, he incorporates his audience.

In situations like this, Garnett always takes a little shot at the media (usually not in a malicious way), and likes to focus on one of two things.

1. Their age. 2. Their fashion sensephysical appearance.

In this case, KG went with No. 1, suggesting that those who are unable to follow the analogy should "ask your mothers and fathers or something."

And finally, the key to any Garnett analogy, even one as simple as "building chemistry is like baking a cake," it trails off at the end and leaves room for interpretation.

Is KG saying the cake is done?

Is this his subtle way of letting everyone know: Well, I told you this would take some time, and guess what? Ding! We're ready, and now the rest of the Eastern Conference can eat it!"

Or is he merely revealing a sense of cautious optimism. Letting us, his teammates and the whole basketball world know that the chemistry is getting there, but still needs time to settle and cool before it's ready for potential championship consumption? (Analogies!)

I'm leaning toward the latter. But either way, you can tell that Garnett is pleased with the development of that locker room. The fact that he even bothered to go down that road and mess around with the media indicates that he's at the very least confident that the Celtics have made unbelievable strides, are on the right track and will be ready to take it to the next level when the time is right

Well, it just so happens that that time is now.

Let's be honest: When the Celtics and Hawks take the court tonight in Atlanta, there will be no question as to which is the better team. Over the course of the last four games, and really, the last five years, the Celtics have proven that they have what it takes to extinguish the Hawks. And given injuries, momentum and everything else, it's fair to assume that that's exactly what the Celtics will eventually do.

But a championship team a team with any real aspirations of making something of this ridiculous season does it tonight.

The Hawks might be at home, but given the events of the last three games, the crowd will be ready to turn on their team if things get off to a bad start. Not to mention, Atlanta's no stranger to seeing their season end at home. They've been eliminated at Phillips Arena in each of the last four seasons.

And like we already said, this isn't a matter of talent. This is a matter of will. It's a matter of the Celtics taking the floor with a level of unity, focus and fortitude that will help them rise above all evils of human nature. The same evils that led to the Hawks choking away Game 2 and almost had the Celtics blow Game 3. The evils that lead better teams to let down their guard and breath life into an opponent that has no business living.

The NBA playoffs are Mortal Kombat, and the Hawks are hunched over in the corner with "FINISH HIM!!" hanging over their heads in bright red letters. And if the Celtics can't get it done tonight, they'll have to head back in the kitchen and re-work the recipe.

It will come at the expense of Paul Pierce's knee. Ray Allen's ankle. Avery Bradley's shoulder. Rajon Rondo's back. Mickael Pietrus' hamstring. Greg Stiemsma's foot. Kevin Garnett's entire body. It might not ruin the meal, but it will certainly complicate the hell out of the baking process.

And if you don't know what I'm talking about, go ask your mothers and fathers or something.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

McAdam: Ridiculous to think Bradley's streak ended because he hit leadoff

felgerst_1280x720_693930051772.jpg

McAdam: Ridiculous to think Bradley's streak ended because he hit leadoff

BOSTON -- If you think John Farrell's decision to hit Jackie Bradley Jr. leadoff for one night is the reason Bradley's 29-game hit streak came to an end, I've got some swamp land you might be interested in buying.

Such silly talk first surfaced mid-afternoon when the lineup was announced. With Mookie Betts getting his first day off this season, somebody had to hit leadoff. Farrell went with the guy who was leading the league in hitting.

That sounds reasonable. But not to some, who cried that putting Bradley at the top was (take your pick) disrupting Bradley's routine, putting him in a place with which he wasn't familiar, or asking him to change his approach.

Of course, none of those made much sense.

First of all, Thursday night marked the sixth (SIXTH!) different spot that Bradley has hit during the hitting streak. He had hit second, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth. So the notion that any change was disruptive was absurd.

As for the notion that Bradley would treat his at-bats differently because he was leading off? Also wrong. Bradley's major adjustment since spring training has been being aggressive early in the count. So, do you know how many pitches Bradley saw in four at-bats as the leadoff hitter? Eight.

Does that sound like someone who was being forced to be more patient for the night, or someone changing their approach by working the count more?

Finally, Bradley hit two balls on the screws -- one to the warning track in right, just in front of the bullpen in his first at-bat and another in front of the center field door, some 400 or so feet away, in his third.

Streaks come to an end, even when hitters belt the ball hard. Twice.