Leon Powe Hurt: Too Bad, Secret's Out: He Has a Jumpshot

Thomas HalzackAnalyst IApril 21, 2009

BOSTON - APRIL 18:  Leon Powe #0 of the Boston Celtics takes a shot over Brad Miller #52 and Tim Thomas #2 of the Chicago Bulls in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at TD Banknorth Garden on April 18, 2009 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
(Leon Powe just got hurt (ACL tear) and will miss the remainder of the playoffs. The following happened before he got hurt. Still, there is next year.)
(Looks both ways)   Psssst…….(whispers) Don’t look now, but I’m going to let a secret out. 
I tug on my sleeve, do a nervous head twitch, square right up to you, look you right in the eye and say…..
“Leon Powe has a mid range jump shot.” I wait. (Give it time to sink in.) 
“And I’ve got it on very good sources that it’s reliable.” 
I’m not exactly Firestarter, or the arsonist in Backdraft, but I’m not exactly Smoky the Bear, either. The embers of the Powe/Davis debates continue to smolder without any help from me. There is a slight wind blowing over those embers. 
Baby’s three rebound, questionable offense/defense continues to take heat from the Powe Party Movement after the recent loss to the Bulls. They want to be “seein’ more Leon”. Like all great political movements, they want it their way. 
Without getting into the knockdown, drag out, point-by-point debates, I uncovered a well kept secret to a rumor about Leon Powe. He has a jump shot. Yep, it’s true.
Like the Abominable Snowman, some claimed it existed. Like the Loch Ness Monster, its existence has been questioned. Like Sasquatch, some claim to have grainy old film footage of it. Like most urban myths, it had to get started somewhere. 
As a card-carrying member of the Baby Liberation Movement, this information makes a case for Leon Powe. Names like Benedict Arnold, Vidkun Quisling, and Philippe Petain raced through my head.
I envisioned a scarlet T permanently tattooed on my forehead. Hey, my name begins with T. I’ll explain it away that way. Nah. My fellow Baby Liberationists are nice people. They won’t do that to me...will they?
How did I track down this bit of vital information “to the cause” of the Powe Movement? Simple. Leon’s college roommate told me. Then Leon confirmed it to me. 
Leon’s college roommate (first year) was Dominic McGuire, currently in his second year (and an excellent year at that) with the Washington Wizards. McGuire transferred from U of Cal. after his first year to Fresno State where he went to star, before becoming a second round find for the Wizards. 
In truth, I had noticed in research that Powe had gotten a number of top California players to go to Cal with him. McGuire was one of them. I sought him out before the last regular season game. 
"We were actually roommates, freshman year, We stayed in the same dorm room for a while." 
Tell me a little bit about Leon. 
"Leon, he’s a strong individual. He’s had to deal with a lot in his life. He kept it going the whole time, staying positive. He’s really showing now, he’s done a great job out there for Boston this year. You know he’s continuing to get better." 
How is his game different now than when you saw him play?
"He’s always been a power player, a great rebounder. Before his injury, he jumped out (of) the gym. It was crazy. You used to see him, he’d be jumping out of the gym." 
So, he’s lost some of that? 
"Uhmmm…not really, he’s still very athletic. Catch them (opponents) off course, he’ll be dunking on a lot of people, so he obviously hasn’t lost it." 
Most of what he does is around the hoop. Doc doesn’t really let him use a mid range. Does he have a mid-range shot that’s reliable?
"I believe so. I’ve seen him use it before. It’s there. [He has to] develop that confidence to get it going in the gym, working on it. Got that mostly ‘in the bag.’"
Was he able to do that at Cal? 
"Yes, he was." 
It would translate to the Celtics if they needed that, right? 
"If that was his role. I don’t see that as his role right now." 
How high is up with Leon, as far as his future? 
"You know, the sky’s the limit. That’s for their management, but he’s a great player." 
Leon had a terrific game, scoring 18 points with 13 rebounds to finish the regular season.
After the Wizards’ game, talking with Leon…. 
How are you feeling?
"Just getting back in the flow of things. Increasing my minutes a little bit. Just trying to get my rhythm back and it’s been coming."
Do you feel the timing’s there?
"Yeah, it’s back. I’m working on reaction time, it’s better, seeing the ball, getting back on defense." 
Dominic McGuire said this and I had read this before, You have a mid-range game. 
"Oh yeah, I can shoot. I can shoot. But on this team, what I have to do, I’ve got be kind of an enforcer. I got to go down low. We (have) a lot of guys that step out and shoot it so I’ll probably save that for later on. Maybe next year. (Smiles) Maybe." 
Will they (Celtics) start introducing that next year?
"I will. If they’re smart, they’ll start cutting off the paint, or doubling or something to not let me get in the paint. But they keep letting me get there. So, if they don’t stop me, I’ll keep going."
There you have it. The Powe Show has a “lotta mo” in his bag of tricks. It’s a little late to dust the cobwebs off that jumper this season, but next season, maybe Boston fans will get to see the Powe Show from about 12-15 feet farther out.
How devastating would that be? 
So Powe will work on his jumper and Davis will work on his rebounding. Sounds perfect to me. Let’s keep them both.
Let’s start a new party. The Davis-Powe Party. If we’re lucky, it starts right now.
(This article first appeared on CelticsStuffLiveblog on WickedGoodsports on Comcast Sports Net.)