Can’t Spell “Power Forward” Without Powe
Posted by r1zzo23 on July 12, 2007
Al Jefferson is the Celtics’ franchise big man, but there may be another power forward on the roster that may need to gain some recognition soon. There are plenty of undersized big men on the Celtics and Ryan Gomes has seemed to be the only one to make a name for himself in the league. Glen Davis is still trying to find his niche in the summer league and needs to keep his weight under control. But there is one guy I really have my eyes on and that is Leon Powe.
Leon Powe was the 49th pick out of California by the Denver Nuggets in the 2006 NBA Draft. When I heard that the Celtics had quickly acquired the pick and the rights to Powe, I was ecstatic. I couldn’t understand how a guy who averaged 20.5 points and 10.1 rebounds in a major conference could go so low in the draft. Nonetheless, I was ready for him to come and give us some decent minutes in the post with our other young big men.
Leon got very limited minutes last season, but when he did step on the court, he usually produced. Powe averaged 4.3 points and 3.5 rebounds last year in just 11 minutes per game. If you extrapolate his play for 40 minutes a game, his numbers would be 14.7 points and 11.9 rebounds. Now I know that he isn’t going to give the Celtics major minutes, I would have no problem with him getting 17-20 minutes a night. With that amount of minutes, he would be able to go hard at all times and really energize this ball club. He brings a toughness in the post (see: Summer League Game #1 vs. Greg Oden) and a hunger for offensive rebounds. He plays pretty good defense on the ball even while undersized at 6’8″, 240 pounds, so for him to guard some power forwards in the league wouldn’t be such a bad thing.
Powe has been showing that he’s ready to contribute with his play in the summer league. Only three games deep, he is averaging 16.3 points and 8.7 rebounds while shooting 62% from the field and 65% from the line. Free throw shooting is a concern with his style of play that gets him to the line quite often. If he could get his FT% up to 70%, I could definitely see Leon as a 10 point, 6 rebound player for the Celtics this year if he would get 20 minutes a game. The great part is that he would never need a single play run for him on the offensive end. He thrives on the offensive glass and collects all the garbage points that you could ask for. Also, his offensive boards give the Celtics another possession, and with Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, second chances will be very dangerous for the opponents.
I think Leon Powe should be playing the backup power forward position behind Al Jefferson. I also think that you could throw out a team like Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Ryan Gomes, Leon Powe and Al Jefferson and have an interesting team on the floor. I hope Doc Rivers sees the production that Leon Powe brings to this team and finds a way to get him on the court for some decent minutes this season.