Leon Powe: Just What We Needed...

GrahamSenior Analyst IMarch 14, 2009

Celtics take care of business, 102-92 over Grizz.

"'That wouldn't happen [with me around]," the injured Kevin Garnett barked from the other room. "What do you average, 1.7 points, 0.1 rebounds?"

The ink began to run and the notebooks started to fill.

"You know who I guard every day [in practice]," Powe shouted back, referring to Garnett. "Don't be so surprised. I'll be back." - Gary Dzen, Boston.com

Leon Powe. The Celtics' fans love him. The rest of the league? They hadn't heard of him until Phil "Zen Master" Jackson purposely mispronounced his name after game two of the Finals. Why? Powe ran ALL OVER the Lakers.

Well, the league needs to start taking serious notice now, after Powe had another successful game, filling in for the injured Garnett. In his first game (against the Heat), Powe had 23 points and 13 rebounds. The second game (Grizzles) was quite similar, with 30 points and 11 rebounds. Oh and five blocks, too. He was a plus eight (efficiency rating) for the game, while playing 41 minutes, and going 10-14 from the field.

"'Me and KG were having a friendly talk," he said. "I want KG to come back. My body is getting used to these 40 minutes, but that's our leading man, and we miss him."

It was hard to tell the Celtics missed Garnett tonight. Powe got down to business early against the Grizzlies, scoring nine points and grabbing six rebounds while playing all but 12 seconds of the first quarter. In addition to crashing the boards, he caught the ball outside the paint and took it to the hole on several occasions. Powe made nine trips to the line in the frame.- Gary Dzen, link above.

Maybe the most often asked question by a Celtics fan is "What about the future?" With future star Glen Davis, and possible future star Leon Powe, there's a good chance that they could have one of the best rebounding teams in the league.

Powe is somewhat of an old-fashioned player, like teammate Kendrick Perkins. He's big, he's blocky, but certainly not clumsy. Unlike centers nowadays (Dwight Howard, Tyson Chandler), players like Powe and Perkins use their bodies to rebound. Instead of leaping for the rebound, which other teammate Rajon Rondo does, those two players box out their man, and let the ball come to them.

What's funny about Powe is his size. Powe is only 6-8. That's most likely why he doesn't try to "out-jump" seven-footers like Howard and Tyson Chandler. Because quite simply, he can't.

"On the court, knee injuries limited Powe to two seasons at the University of California. The injuries overshadowed his stellar final season at Cal, when the undersized power forward averaged 20.5 points and 10.1 rebounds per game.

Powe has averaged 7.3 points and 4.7 rebounds in just over 17 minutes per game this season. He has seen those averages rise to 18.4 points and 8 rebounds in his last five games." - Gary Dzen. Link above.

Can you imagine the future? I mean come on, don't tell me you can't picture Powe boxing out superstars (or at least they will be by then) Al Horford and David Lee for a rebound, and Glen "Big Baby" Davis storming in and grabbing the loose rebound! Or, at least, with all that space in the middle, he should.

"'I know what I can do," said Powe. "I've scored the ball in college. I'm used to that. I didn't have too many opportunities here, but I'm coming off the bench to make the most of my minutes. When you're playing behind KG and other veterans it's kind of difficult. It's just about me making the most of it.'

Celtics players could care less if Powe is known by others. Right now he's serving to plug the massive hole left by Garnett's absence. And he's using that wide body to carve a niche for himself that isn't likely to go away even when Garnett returns.

"'You know he's going to play 30-plus minutes now," said Pierce. "When you have a guy that gets that opportunity, he's not going to look over his shoulder...it's a whole different attitude.'" - Gary Dzen. LINK ABOVE.

Not to worry Celtics' fans. Don't listen to that junk Cavs and Lakers fans are giving us. The future IS bright. And with a little luck, and a little hard work on his part, Leon Powe could be leading the way.

Story

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