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

Red Sox rally for 8-7 spring training victory over Twins

Red Sox rally for 8-7 spring training victory over Twins

Brian Bogusevic's RBI single in the eighth inning gave the Red Sox a come-from-behind, 8-7, spring training victory over the Minnesota Twins on Saturday in Fort Myers, Fla.

Bogusevic, 32, an outfielder signed to a minor league deal this winter, played in Japan last season and hasn't been in the major leagues since 2015 with the Phillies.

Reliever Tyler Thornburg, acquired in the offseason trade that sent Travis Shaw to the Milwaukee Brewers, had a rough outing in his Red Sox debut. He allowed five runs (four earned), four hits and a walk in 2/3 of an inning as the Red Sox fell behind 7-3 by the fourth inning.

Left-hander Roenis Elias started for Boston and allowed a first-inning home run to Byungho Park. He struck out three in two innings.

Mookie Betts went 2-for-3 with a double and first base prospect Sam Travis, hitting .500 this spring, tied it at 7 with an RBI double in the sixth.

Red Sox manager John Farrell said earlier Saturday that Eduardo Rodriguez is scheduled to make his first start on Thursday against the Tampa Bay Rays in Fort Myers and Chris Sale will make his first start March 6 against the Houston Astros in West Palm Beach. Rodriguez injured his knee in winter ball in Venezuela and threw his first batting practice session on Saturday.

The Red Sox next travel to Port Charlotte to play the Rays Sunday at 1:05 p.m. 


 

Young getting on floor more for Celtics, including key fourth-quarter stints

Young getting on floor more for Celtics, including key fourth-quarter stints

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – For most of his life, basketball has come easy to James Young.
 
So, the idea that in training camp he wasn’t just fighting to get playing time but also to stay in the NBA, was a jarring eye-opener.
 
To Young’s credit, he rose to the challenge and beat out R.J. Hunter for the Celtics' final roster spot.
 
And while Young’s playing time has been sporadic, he has done a much better job of maximizing his opportunities.
 
So, as the Celtics roll into Detroit to face the Pistons, Young finds himself playing his best basketball as a pro, good enough to make coach Brad Stevens not hesitate to put him in the game in the fourth quarter of a close matchup.
 
“It’s exciting to come back home,” Young, who grew up in nearby Rochester Hills, Mich., told CSNNE.com. “A lot of my family will be there. I’m not thinking about me. I’m just trying to do what I can to help the team.”
 
And lately, he’s getting an opportunity to do just that beyond being someone who helps in practice.
 
We saw that in the 107-97 loss at Toronto on Friday. Young came off the bench to play four minutes, 36 seconds in the fourth quarter with only two other Celtics reserves, Marcus Smart (8:39) and Jonas Jerebko (5:10) seeing more action down the stretch.
 
“It means a lot,” Young said. “He’s starting to trust me a little bit more. That’s a good thing. I’m just trying to do little things; rebound, get defensive stops and score when I get a chance.”
 
The fact that his scoring is just starting to take shape helps shed some light on why he has been buried so deep on the Celtics bench.
 
For his first couple seasons, Young seemed a hesitant shooter physically overwhelmed by opponents too strong for him to defend as well as too physical for him to limit their effectiveness.
 
But this season, he has done a better job at holding his own as a defender while making himself an available scoring option who can play off his teammates.
 
Young is averaging just 2.9 points per game this season, but he’s shooting a career-high 48.9 percent from the field and 41.7 percent on 3’s, which is also a career-high.
 
Getting on the floor more often has in many ways provided yet another boost of confidence to Young.
 
“I’m getting used to the flow of the game playing more consistently,” Young said. “I know what to do. It’s slowing up a little more and it’s getting easier.”