Garnett, Celtics 'baking' for a cause

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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

Sam Travis among nine non-roster invitees added to Red Sox spring training roster

Sam Travis among nine non-roster invitees added to Red Sox spring training roster

The Red Sox have invited nine non-roster players to spring training, the team announced Wednesday. The team now has a total of 15 non-roster invitees. 

Added Wednesday to the spring training roster were outfielder/infielder Allen Craig, third baseman Rafael Devers, first baseman Sam Travis, catcher Jordan Procyshen, outfielders Brian Bogusevic and Rusney Castillo, and right-handed pitchers Kyle Kendrick, Chandler Shepherd and Ben Taylor.

In addition to 39 players on the 40-man roster, the Sox have the following breakdown of non-roster invitees: 

Pitchers: Kyle Kendrick, Edgar Olmos, Chandler Shepherd, Ben Taylor, Marcus Walden
 
Catchers: Dan Butler, Jake DePew, Jordan Procyshen
 
Infielders: Rafael Devers, Matt Dominguez, Sam Travis
 
Outfielders: Brian Bogusevic, Rusney Castillo, Allen Craig, Junior Lake

Floyd looks to improve rapport with Brady: 'Tom likes things a certain way'

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Floyd looks to improve rapport with Brady: 'Tom likes things a certain way'

FOXBORO -- Michael Floyd has been with the Patriots for about a month, and he admits he still has a lot to learn.

Specifically when it comes to his rapport with Tom Brady, Floyd knows there's room for improvement. Against the Texans last weekend, he was targeted three times. One led to a pick. Another was almost picked. One was caught for nine yards. 

On the intercepted pass and the near-interception, Floyd ran slant routes from the left side of the Patriots formation, but he appeared to run them in ways that Brady didn't anticipate. Instead of coming back toward the ball as it approached, Floyd leaked up the field, perhaps hoping to turn what would be an intermediate gain into a bigger play. 

On WEEI earlier this week, Brady took the blame for the pick. But Floyd shouldered his share of responsibility for the turnover on Wednesday.

"You just gotta come downhill," he said. "Obviously at this time of the year, a lot of guys are really checked in on film work and how you play and splits and stuff like that. You gotta make sure you're really fundamentally sound and come downhill to every single ball."

It's one of many lessons Floyd has tried to absorb since being claimed off of waivers by the Patriots in mid-December.

In the regular-season finale against the Dolphins, he looked to be learning at an impressive rate as he caught three passes for 36 yards and laid a monster block that helped spring Julian Edelman for the longest touchdown reception of his career. 

As he prepared for the AFC title game, though, he acknowedleged that he has a way to go -- particularly when it comes to understanding the nuances of how his ever-demanding quarterback wants things done.

"I've only been here a month so I think that's every single day," Floyd said of getting to know Brady's preferences. "I gotta keep my head in the playbook and ask questions. That's what I do every single day. There's nothing wrong about asking a question. They see that I'm the new guy here, and I -- for the most part -- get all the answers that I need."

He added: "Tom likes things a certain way. Me being the new guy, or any of us, we make sure that we do it that way."