Sunday, June 8, 2008
"0" the Hero
(Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
It was a game of destiny. You could feel something special about to happen after the Leon Powe half time special. It was a very touching piece and I hope to have the segment up on the site soon.
I've spent the last 2 years saying Leon will shine if he's given an opportunity, and he shined like no other on the biggest stage Sunday night. I know it's just one game but it was a pretty big game and a pretty amazing performance. I don't think I have to give a full summary of the game because most of you watched it yourselves.
Watching Leon score 21 points in 14 minutes in an NBA Championship game validated everything I've been saying for the last couple years. Again, I know it's just one game but he showed that he has the tools to be a great player in this league for many years. Some of you might wonder what the difference was between this game and the games Leon isn't scoring 21 points in 14 minutes. Well I'll tell you the difference... Leon actually got some playing time and his teammates decided to make a point of getting him the ball. Leon has great post moves and knows how to use his body to draw contact. So even when Powe isn't hitting his shots he's still going to draw a lot of fouls. I wish the Celtics would set up plays for Leon more often. You all saw the result of what happens when they do. Even if Doc Rivers isn't giving Leon a lot of minutes or touches, Powe still finds a way to make the most of his time on the court. You can never say Leon isn't productive with his playing time.
I had a few people recommend I don't type anything and just put up a picture of a middle finger for all the people that thought Leon shouldn't be playing in this series. I though that would be inappropriate to do even though it was a funny idea.
I gotta say, when Leon was at the free throw line in the 4th quarter and the crowd was cheering "Leon Powe! Leon Powe! Leon Powe!" I had chills. I've been watching Leon since he was a basketball player in high school and I've followed his career since then. When the crowed began chanting his name I started to think back to all the times when I'd get excited because Leon was on the floor for the last 30 seconds of a blow out game in the regular season. Or I was thinking back to all the times where people would argue that Leon should be playing in the D-League. That was if they even knew who Leon was, which most didn't. It was so surreal to hear the Boston Celtics fans chanting Leon's name in the 4th quarter of an NBA Championship game. There isn't a much higher praise in basketball than having your name chanted throughout the rafters in Boston. Leon Powe once a 12th man, now a piece of history.
Some might think game 2 will be the climax of Leon's career. It could be but I think there will be plenty of great moments to come. In fact if the Celtics continue to give Leon the ball in this series he could continue to make contributions like he did in game 2.
Side note: Leon should be on the USA Olympic team instead of Lamar Odom. It's too late for that too happen but you all know what I mean.