Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Leon Powe did a chat with ESPN on Monday and I wanted everyone to see it. I thought there were some interesting questions and answers. Unfortunately I can't get rid of some of the less intelligent questions but hey, I wasn't the moderator for the chat. Either way I think you'll enjoy learning a little more about Leon the man.
Click here for link to fan chat
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Just Kidding. I had to make the title something about Leon not getting Finals MVP. It was eye catching and how often can I use that title. Paul Pierce was the most deserving player for the Finals MVP because he's been a Celtic the longest and he did have the best Finals out of anyone. Ray Allen played amazing and you could have given him the MVP but I think the NBA made the right choice.
Right now I don't think any of the Celtics care about who got the MVP though, finally the Big 3 and supporting cast are NBA Champions. Everyone did their part and they got the job done. This is one of those teams I'll remember for the rest of my life. I'll be 90 years old and I'll be able to list every guy on the roster for all the contributions they made all the way down to Gabe Pruitt, Tony Allen, and Brian Scalabrine. It was just a very special group of guys and all of them seem like good humans that deserved to win. With exception to Sam Cassell, he seems like a jerk. I'm still bitter that he took a swipe at Rajon Rondo's head a few days before he signed with the Celtics. I'm also bitter because he would never pass Leon the ball so I guess I'm happy he'll be gone next year. But anywho, the rest of the Celtics earned this and I'm very proud of all them.
I'm so happy the Celtics ended it the way they did. In my last post I mentioned that if the Celtics won game 5 it wouldn't have felt right. Mostly because KG played awful and because it was in LA. But This was how it was suppose to end. With the Celtics putting a real ass kicking on the Lakers in Boston. With the crowd there to celebrate for a whole quarter. It was just so beautiful to watch.
I'm so happy I can call Leon a world champion from now on. Karl Malone, Charles Barkley, John Stockton, and many other greats can't call themselves that, but Leon Powe can. It wasn't like Leon didn't contribute either. Powe left an imprint that will be remembered for many years to come. His record performance in game 2 was something I'll be telling my great grandchildren about, and I'm sure I'm not the only Celtic fan that will.
Although Leon has only been in the NBA for 2 seasons he's been through more than any of us including myself could ever fathom. So to be here at this point in his life is beyond a miracle to me. He went from being a homeless child, to a young man without parents, to a talented ball player with seemingly career ending knee injuries, to being stuck on the bench never knowing if he'll get his chance, to an NBA Finals hero, then finally to an NBA Champion. I'm sure Leon has gotten some help from the big man up stairs along the way, but his hard work and determination have put him at a level that no one could have imagine this poor kid could be at. Could you imagine where Leon would be if he could actually catch a break? But who knows, maybe it was all those bad breaks that made Leon become a champion. Maybe the greatest break for him was not getting one at all? Either way Leon has found a way to become successful when the world was against him and I'm happy he's beaten the odds again!
P.S. I'm also happy that Leon will be getting a new contract soon. You gotta figure game 2 got him a lot of money on a new deal. Plus it always helps when you have a ring on your finger when signing the dotted line. I really hope the Celtics work something out with Leon this offseason, It would be a curse to the Celtics if they were to not lock up Leon for a long time.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
Well the Celtics are headed back to Boston for game 6 after a less than great performance in game 5. While I was rooting for the Celtics with great intensity, I still thought in the back of my head this would be an ugly way to win a championship. With the exception of Paul Pierce the whole team didn't do much.
It was tough to watch Kevin Garnett struggle in what could have been the championship clinching game. KG has done such a fine job this whole year, so to watch him play as poorly as he did was tough. I know beggars can't be choosers but I want the Celtics to win while Kevin is playing well. Paul and Ray have clicked in the finals, but KG just can't get things going. Statistically he's fine, but his overall impact has not lived up to what we all expected of Garnett.
I don't feel like putting KG down right now but I have to speak the truth. He looked like a lost rookie out there. I was rooting for him to foul out when he got 5 fouls because it was embarrassing watching him struggle in the clutch like he did. He couldn't make lay ups or free throws. I got to the point where I was hoping they would get the ball to anyone but Kevin. Watch next game how Pau Gasol gives Kevin his left hand and he still tries to go to the right or take a fade away jumper. It was very surprising to realize how bad KG is at going left. I hope KG see's this in the next game and takes advantage of the baseline. What's also frustrating about it is Pau is one of the worst defenders I've ever scene in all my years watching pro basketball. Kevin should be scoring 30 a game right now. He's a little too wired and thinking a little to much. I guess all that lost sleep is catching up with him. KG may not be Larry Bird in the clutch but I think he can get things together enough for game 6 at home to lead the Celtics to a victory.
Leon got his first career post season and NBA Finals start in game 5. That's about all you could say about him though. He played 5 minutes and that was it. When it's a young guys first career post season start he's going to need a few minutes to get it together and warm up. Well Doc decided not to give Leon those minutes and ended the starters day early. What frustrates me about this move is Leon has showed that he can cause some serious problems for the Lakers (hello, anyone remember game 2?). Leon decided not to take any shots with his first few touches because it's the Big 3's job to do the scoring. Powe grabbed a couple boards and didn't let Lamar Odom score while he was in just as he's done to Lamar the whole series. Leon made a silly play when he got caught on a switch guarding Pau who he stopped, but the ball got tipped back to Gasol and Leon fouled him. Well Leon isn't allowed to make minor mistakes in Doc's eyes so his day was done after that. Always a good teaching lesson for a young player, "If you mess up once your not going back in". Ya that will keep Leon nice and loose.
P.J. Brown does a nice job holding his ground when he's in there. The problem with this is sometimes you need a guy that can do more than just hold his ground. Brown's productivity is killing me right now. He's no threat to score on offense so his defender always leaves him and double teams whoever has the ball. He isn't a great rebounder and is not the athlete these younger players are. I like that he does have the calm veteran presence but that's only good for a few moments when giving the young guys a break. PJ has averaged 3 points and 3 rebounds in 19 minutes a game during this series. For those of you that don't know much about basketball, that's mediocre at best. Yes, Brown does some nice things that don't show up in the box scores, but rebounds is a very important stat and so is points. When your not doing either of those things well and your a big man then we've got some issues. Leon always gives something when he's out there and is the best fit most of the time. Isn't nice to know if Leon gets the ball he's going to score or draw a foul, it's comforting. I like P.J. Brown a lot, I think he's done the best with the talent he has left in his old body. But he just isn't as productive as some of the other players on the Celtics bench. I still want him to play, just not as much as he's been playing.
Ok, bad game lets try and forget about it. Props to Tony Allen for stepping in and having a nice impact. I was happy to see that. They lost game 5 but now we get to see them win it in Boston which will make it even sweeter.
In game 6 I expect better play out of KG and more playing time for Leon. If the Celtics get both of those things they can't lose!
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Well that was a nice game wasn't it? The Celtics had the worst half in the history of the NBA Finals and they still won. That's a pretty good sign for things going forward. The Celtics have 3 games to win one, and two of those are in Boston. So I'm feeling pretty good about things.
James Posey was my player of the game in this one. He hit some big 3's and played some solid defense as usual. When Perkins went out with an injury, Posey was the guy that lead the charge. I would have liked to see Leon get in after that but sometimes rolling the dice can work. Playing with a smaller line up could have either buried the Celtics or brought them back and lucky for Boston the plan just happened to work out. Sometimes when your getting blown out you gotta do unusual things to get back in the game and playing Posey with Pierce at the same time worked out well.
Posey played amazing, Eddie House played great, Paul and Ray played very well, But I can't undervalue the performance by my guy Leon Powe. Leon scored 3 points and grabbed 5 rebounds in his 9 minutes and it was just enough to get the job done. It was huge that Leon was able to hold down the fort while KG got his rest in the fourth quarter. Not only did Leon hold down the fort, he hit a big time shot to tie things up at 73, which was the first tie in the game since 2-2. I know Powe didn't have a huge game 2 like performance, but he stopped Lamar Odom who was hot earlier in the game, and he attacked the rim and brought physicality to the game. Although Leon can't get a call since that game 2 outburst, he's still putting the fear into Lakers defenders and bringing his tough presence. I hope Doc will give him some of P.J's minutes in the next game. He's proved that he earned that playing time with his efficient play.
Great all around team effort in this game. I can't believe the Celtics and Leon are one game away from being world champs again. I'm trying not to get too excited yet, but they're just so close.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
What an awful game that was by both teams. The Lakers were trying to give the Celtics the game, but Boston just wanted the Lakers to have it more. Both the Celtics players and coaches decided to take a game off. Paul Pierce was a no show, mostly because of early foul trouble. Kevin Garnett, the only thing I can say about him is GO TO THE HOOP! KG has Pau Gasol on him! This is the biggest mismatch on the court and he's settling for 20 foot fade away jump shots! I watched Tim "The slowest man in the NBA" Duncan walk around Gasol at will in the last series. So I know KG can get to the hoop whenever he wants. Ray Allen played great and was the reason why the Celtics were in the game. So it was real nice to see that.
I told everyone in my last post that Leon would only play a couple minutes in game 3. I knew this because this is what Doc does. He waits for Leon to make one mistake and then pulls him. Next game Leon will most likely get even fewer minutes if any. Leon's 6 minutes should have been double that. He was the only player on the Celtics going to the hoop and trying to get to the free throw line. The only problem with that was, the refs were in no way going to let some guy they've never heard of, get back to back double digit free throw games. Leon should have gone to the line at least 3 times maybe 4 and he only went once. I put two photos up because one, you can clearly see Leon being fouled but there was no call. Two, because that's a sick picture of Leon blocking Kobe and I wanted to use it. Unfortunately Posey was called for a weak foul which negated the block.
But anyways, if Leon gets to the free throw line a few times and scores some points, it would have really built some momentum for Leon and the Celtics. So it wasn't like Powe was that far off from having another game changing impact. A few calls here and there can do a lot as we all know. Another thing that hurt Leon and the Celtics for that matter was Sam Cassell. Sam WILL NOT pass Leon the ball and it really slows him down knowing he won't get the ball if he's open under the basket. Eddie House will at least hit the open guy and still try and run the offense. Sam does the opposite and kills the flow of the offense. Even if Cassell makes a couple shots it doesn't really matter because the rest of the guys on the team are out of the game. No more Sam Cassell.
Leon didn't play his best game but he played hard enough to get more than 6 minutes. I hope to see more minutes in game 4 but I'm always doubtful with Doc as the coach.
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
It's been an absolutely crazy couple of days since Leon had his memorable performance in the game 2 win. The national media attention Leon has received is more than I could have dreamed about. I knew Leon had that kind of game in him, but I never thought he'd get the opportunity to show it during the NBA Championship. So I guess I'll give Doc Rivers credit for actually believing in Leon a little bit.
The national media seems to think Leon just came out of his shell for the first time on the biggest stage. The truth is Leon's been out of his shell before but Doc Rivers always puts him back in it. Whenever Leon has a great game it's usually followed up by 2 minutes the next game, then a stretch of not touching the floor at all after that. It will be interesting to see how Doc handles this situation especially with the way the media will take it if Leon only plays a couple minutes in game 3. Normally Doc will say, "it's just Big Baby's turn to play right now" and then Leon will sit on the bench despite showing a lot of promise. It's the reason Leon hasn't been able to show nationally what he's capable of before. The fans in Boston have seen Leon's great flashes, but they've also seen those great flashes somehow result in Leon sitting on the bench in the games after. Doc knows he's at risk of looking like a real moron if he doesn't play Leon a lot and the Celtics lose. So I expect Leon to get some minutes for that reason.
I'll give Doc some credit for telling his guys to get Leon the ball when he went in there. Luke Walton has no chance of stopping Leon and Rivers actually saw that. Although Leon didn't score every play he is excellent at using his body and drawing fouls. He earned every trip to the free throw line and Phil Jackson knows it. Phil's just playing head games with the refs. Ya no, Zen Master stuff. But that's another reason why Leon had such a break out game. For the first time during the playoffs the Celtics actually went to him. Leon does a good job being a garbage guy and cleaning up the offensive glass, but he's even better as a go to guy. Powe could have been doing this throughout the playoffs if the Celtics decided to actually make him an option. Hopefully the Celtics and Doc Rivers now realize that Leon could torch the Lakers the whole series if they wanted him to. So please Doc, Lets go back to the well! Keep feeding Leon the ball!
Interesting Stat: The Celtics are 23-2 when Leon scores over 10 points, and 5-0 when he scores over 20.
Monday, June 9, 2008
Sunday, June 8, 2008
(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.
Saturday, June 7, 2008
(Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
First things first. Don't you love this picture of Leon boxing out Ronny Turiaf. What I love about Leon when he boxes out he doesn't just do it so he can get a rebound for himself. He drives players out of the play so his teammates can grab the rebound. It's the beautiful lost art of boxing out.
I was at bostonherald.com and came across an article by Steve Conroy. The name of the article is, "Celtics' Leon Powe never a no-show." Well said Steve, I couldn't have put it any better myself. I guess that's why I'm a blogger and Steve Conroy is a professional writer. It's nice to see a writer give Leon the credit he deserves. Steve gets it, why can't everyone else? Anywho, here is the link to Steve's wonderful Leon Powe article. Read It!
Click here For Steve Conroy's Leon Powe article
Thursday, June 5, 2008
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Well that was quite a game one wasn't it? The most important part about it was the Celtics won, so that made the game a lot more fun to watch. We got to see a good close game along with some Willis Reed/Larry Bird type heroics from Paul Pierce. We even got to see some Leon Powe! What more could we ask for?
I'll start out my game summary by saying Paul Pierce played like a true Celtics legend in game 1. His injury may not have been as severe as it looked, but Paul still came back from the locker room and provided a spark that was much needed in the 3rd quarter. Paul skipping out of the locker room could be the moment we remember from this championship years from now if the Celtics win. My prediction is the defining moment will be a Leon Powe jumper to win the Championship. Some of you may disagree, but time will tell if I'm right. Since we're on the subject of Leon Powe, lets talk about Leon's first championship game. Powe scored 4 points and grabbed 4 rebounds in 9 minutes of play. Not bad for a guy that people were saying shouldn't touch the floor because of his lack of experience. I'll say it again... Leon will ALWAYS prove doubters wrong! He'll continue to show everyone he deserves playing time as long as he gets it. During the 9 minutes Leon played the Celtics actually increased their lead. That's impressive considering that Leon is coming in for Kevin Garnett. It just shows the Celtics don't lose much when KG steps off the floor because of Leon.
Alright, I'm tired. End of blogging tonight. Props to P.J. Brown for holding his ground against Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom. Kendrick Perkins played awful and almost took out Paul for the series but will hopefully be back to Eastern Conference Championship form next game. Hooray Celtics! One game down, three to go!