Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Celtics Get Back on Track, as Leon Shines

(Photo by Steve Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Boston Celtics ended the current nightmare with an impressive 110-85 win over the Atlanta Hawks.

Leon played a huge part in this game stepping up when Kendrick Perkins got into early foul trouble. With the assistance of Sam Cassell, Powe took over the second quarter and helped the Celtics pull away from the Hawks. Leon got his chance to show what he's made of once again by scoring 7 points and grabbing 7 rebounds(5 of which were offensive) all in the first half alone. Leon finished with 10 points in the game but some of his most important plays don't show up in the stat book. Leon's great defensive positioning helped him draw a few fouls, one of which was against Joe Johnson who had to go to the bench for most of the first half because of it. It's the same old thing, if Doc gives Leon minuets, Leon will produce.

Powe is just figuring out how to play playoff basketball. Now that he has a round of experience under his belt, I expect him to become very dangerous in the up and coming series. Leon knows how to step up in big situations. Powe in college during the Pac-10 tournament, scored 22 points and a tourney record 20 rebounds in one game, and 41 points in the next. So Leon really knows how to get it down when his team needs him most. He's a man us Celtics fans can trust. I'd trust him with my life quite frankly.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Leon Powe is Hurt!

(Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)

As you can see in this photo Leon is sad. Sad because he is hurt, hurt by his own coach. Leon had a career high 27 points his last game of the season, and did a good job in game one against the Hawks. He built up his confidence only to have it beaten down by Doc Rivers. Doc started screwing with his bench during the playoffs which is the worst thing you could do. He brings in Glen "Big Baby" Davis in game two just to get him minuets. Then he sits Leon in game 3 because he missed a defensive assignment. And yes, go look at the tapes, Leon missed one defensive assignment, not five. Powe gave up a lay up instead of fouling and Doc felt it was worth hurting Leon's confidence over it by not playing him. The last thing you need to do to a young guy is bring him down. Instead of just telling Leon personally why he isn't playing him, Doc decided to tell the media and bring down Leon. What kind of coach throws his players under the bus like this. Rivers always manipulates the media and gives them what they want. All he had to do is explain to Leon what he needed to do, then go let him do it.

Leon was brought down by his coach in the media, then put on the bench. But Leon has more heart than anyone on the planet, so I know he'll get it together. He did a good job on defense in game four, I'd like to see him get a little offense going in game five.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

No Powe=No Wins

(Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Celtics suffered an embarrassing loss to the Atlanta Hawks in game three Saturday. There were multiple reason for this loss but it all comes down to one thing. Leon Powe got stuck on the bench and it cost the Celtics a victory.

Leon has spent the last half of this season proving over and over again that he should be getting playing time. But for some reason Doc Rivers has forgotten how great Leon's been and decided to play Glen Davis and P.J. Brown instead. Let me explain something to everyone about Glen Davis... He is a big, high energy guy and everyone loves having a player like that on their team. But Davis is a big ball of useless energy. He runs around fouling and knocking people over and it does nothing for the team. The Celtics offense always dies when Davis comes in the game and it's frustrating to watch. If you want a big guy that runs around knocking people over, the Celtics could go get some football players. I want someone to come in and bring production to the Celtics and Leon Powe has always done that.

I could rant about this game for hours but I don't have the time to. The Celtics looked like they didn't want it, they lacked heart and passion, and not having Leon Powe on the floor doesn't solve those problems. Hopefully next game Doc learns from his mistakes and gives Powe his minuets.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Leon Displays the Art of Boxing Out

(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

I love this photo of Leon boxing out Zaza Pachulia. This is a rare thing to see in today's NBA. I don't know of one player in all of basketball that boxes out correctly anymore other than Leon. Players just lean on each other and hope the ball bounces their way. Leon uses this old timey box out move to "box out" a man so he or one of his teammates can get the ball without the disruption of an opposing player. This was a very important and basic skill most children learned when they first started playing basketball but for some reason no one does it anymore. Pay attention to how Powe actually puts himself between the player and the hoop and uses his legs to move the player back away from the ball, while trapping the guy with his arms. It's a beautiful thing to watch, and I felt it needed to be recognized.

Leon is just starting to get the feel of the playoffs. It took a few minuets in game one to get relaxed and he didn't get much time in game two. So I'd look for a big game from Leon tonight in game three. I just hope Doc gives Leon the time to do his work. Hopefully we don't see the Big three in while the Celtics are up 20 with 3 minuets to go. It's like Doc's asking for one of his starters to get injured at the end of a blow out.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Leon's Dunk of the Year

I think what most Celtic fans love about this play is Kevin Garnett's reaction. I think Leon was a little confused at first, he thought he did something wrong to make Sam and KG angry. Then he realized when he got up, that KG was just losing his mind and started to get annoyed almost. It was good stuff. One of those dunks that will be shown on highlight reels for a long time. You have to go to and check out some of the pictures of KG yelling in Leon's ear.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Celtics cruise in game one

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The Boston Celtics took game one against the Atlanta Hawks, 104-81. It was an easy win as expected, and an enjoyable game to watch. It's been so long since the Celtics headed into a playoff game and you knew they were going to win. Everyone was able to just sit back and watch the C's do their thing, it was beautiful.

I'll give credit where it needs to be due. The MVP of this game was Rajon Rondo. Breaking Leon's 25 game MVP streak. One of the biggest question marks in this series was Rajon Rondo on Mike Bibby. Well Rondo played great and ate Bibby alive. Seeing Rajon play like that in his first playoff game was very comforting.

To the important stuff... Leon got his first look at playoff action and did pretty well. Leon scored 10 points, grabbed 4 rebounds, and had 2 blocks. Not bad coming off the bench in his first playoff game. Since it is the playoffs, we can't expect Leon to put up the usual numbers he puts up as a man coming off the bench. But what we can expect is an even more intense Leon, and that's what we saw. I'm sure most of you saw Leon throw down one of the most vicious dunks you will ever see. Leon's dunk on the whole Atlanta Hawks team not only put an exclamation point on the game, it put the fear into every Hawks player and their children. I mean seriously, when I saw that dunk I didn't even react. I just sat there in fear for the lives around Leon, I didn't want anyone to get hurt. I thought the building was coming down on the thousands of fans in Boston and I feared for them all. That was Leon's way of introducing himself to the playoffs. I love it, and I can't wait for more.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Celtics Win Final Game, Leon Gets Career High

(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

The Boston Celtics capped off a 66 win season by beating the New Jersey Nets 105-94. The good news is at the beginning of the season I predicted the Celtics would win 66 games. The bad news for me is I forgot to post it anywhere for proof that I got it right.

More good news... Leon Powe ended the season with a career high 27 points followed by 11 rebounds. Certainly a nice way for Leon to cap off his season. He consistently showed that if given the minuets he can produce big numbers.

Leon's final stats for the 2007-2008 season were

14.4 MPG

7.9 PPG

4.1 RPG

.572 FG%

I'd show his assist but when your as good as Leon you don't pass the ball much. That would just be stupid and hurting your team. Not a bad year at all for a guy getting 14 minuets a game, and having to sit at the very end of the bench the first half of the season.

A quick fact... The Celtics were 18-2 when Leon scored over 10 points. Which would have been 20-0 if the starters hadn't choked away both games at the end. When Leon scores 20+ points the Celtics are 4-0. So I guess it's pretty easy, give Leon the ball and you win.

I'll be expecting more solid play out of Leon in the playoffs. He will be a real X factor for the Celtics in their championship run. It's been a strong finish to the regular season for the Celtics and Leon. But the real season is starting now.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Leon and the Celtics make History

(AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

The Boston Celtics clinched home court throughout the playoffs Saturday by defeating the Charlotte Bobcats 101-78.
Not only did the Celtics clinch home court during the playoffs, they also have now completed the biggest single-season turnaround in NBA history. At this time last year, who would have ever thought the Celtics would be the best team in NBA just a year later. Maybe we'll still be wishing the Celtics got the first pick and took Greg Oden, but I think things have worked out just fine so far.

This blow out doesn't seem too impressive because it is the Bobcats, but the Celtics were able to do this with all of the Big 3 sitting on the bench. That meant it was Leon's time to shine. Powe got to start in place of Kevin Garnett and filled in very nicely for the MVP candidate. In Leon's 28 minuets he scored 22 points, all which were in the first 3 quarters, went 12-13 from the free throw line, he also grabbed 9 rebounds and had 2 steals. O and once AGAIN, Leon was the player of the game. This blog is turning very repetitive. Every time the Celtics play, Leon gets player of the game. I'm still waiting for Leon to have a game where he plays 20 minuets and doesn't score and only gets 2 rebounds. It seems like those games eventually happen to every player but it hasn't happened to Powe yet.

Leon continues to showcase himself, not only as a good 6th man but a potential starter in the future. Powe fits very nicely in Boston and I'll be surprised if he goes anywhere else next season. Don't mess this one up Ainge!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Celtics Get Their 60th

(Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Boston Celtics got their 60th win of the season by defeating the Indiana Pacers 92-77. The last time the Celtics won 60 games in a season, Leon was 2 years old and just learning how to dunk.

The Celtics defense was just too much for the mediocre Pacers, and it was never really a game because of it. Everyone played pretty well, but of course Leon once again was the MVP in this one. Powe scored 14 points, grabbed 9 rebounds, and had many Tommy Points. I mean what else can I say? I try to give the player of the game award to someone else but Leon just keeps taking it. I keep waiting for Powe to have a bad stretch but it just doesn't happen. He can't mess up, it's really amazing. Hopefully Leon has solidified the 6th man spot for the playoffs, it appears that he has. It will really behoove the team for Doc Rivers to keep Powe as the first guy coming off the bench.

Things are looking great right now. I can't see any team beating the Celtics 4 times out of 7 times in a playoff series. But I don't want to jynk the Celtics yet.