Monday, March 15, 2010

Leon Burns Celtics in Cavs Win

(Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)

Here's a great article written by Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald. Leon Powe had a great stretch against his old team playing 7 minutes and scoring 6 points (all from the free throw lines) and grabbing four rebounds. Leon out hustled a team that misses his hustle. Glen Davis still is an out of control mess and Rasheed Wallace hasn't lived up to his name. The Celtics sure could use Powe at the 4 right now.

By Steve Bulpett

CLEVELAND - At the end of his time with the Celtics [team stats], Leon Powe was hurt.

Yesterday, he hurt the Celtics.

In just his seventh game back from major left knee surgery, the Cavaliers forward made his first appearance with 4:35 left in the third quarter. Over the next eight minutes, he collected six points (all from the free-throw line) and four rebounds.

Just the kind of stuff he used to do for the C’s.

“To play those spot minutes is a very difficult job,” said LeBron James after Cleveland’s 104-93 win, “and to come in and be ready to do what he did today was huge.”

Powe’s effect went beyond his numbers, as evidenced by the fact the Cavs were a plus-11 with him on the floor.

“Leon was spectacular for us,” said coach Mike Brown. “Antawn (Jamison) picked up his fourth foul, and we put Leon in the game and I thought he was the difference maker.”

Indeed, Cleveland was ahead by two when he came into the game, and up 13 when he left with 8:08 to play.

Powe deflected the praise afterward, and before the game was crediting someone else with a huge assist that he is still in the NBA - and that was a member of the Celtics organization.

Powe was in many ways on his own when he got hurt in the first-round playoff series against Chicago last year. He was heading into a free-agent summer, meaning a successful surgery was critical if he hoped to get another contract. Given a choice, he decided to stick with Celtics physician Brian McKeon.

“I had a few doctors in line and I talked to all of them, and he really sounded like he really had confidence in his work and he could do a real good job,” said Powe. “He just sounded really confident that he could probably have me back on the court. He said it would take some time for me to get back, but he said he could get the job done.”

The Celtics were a bit apprehensive with Powe, so he accepted a one-year deal with Cleveland, which has an option for next season. He’s making $855,139 this year, the minimum for someone of his experience level, but he’s more than appreciative.

“It could have easily went the other way and been a sad day,” Powe said. “I owe a lot to Dr. McKeon. I put the hard work in, but he laid the foundation, which enabled me to get back to the point where I am now on the court.”