CTC: Leon Powe or Big Baby?

Countdown To Camp: 6 Days To Media Day

poweknees.jpg All this week I'll be counting down the days till camp with questions that need to be answered sometime during camp. (Also See: 9 Days | 8 Days | 7 Days)

The backup power forward position battle should be the most fun to watch this preseason.  Will it be the hard working, inspiring, tough guy Leon Powe?  Or will it be the baby faced, beefy-but-quick, lovable Glen Davis? 

We've seen Big Baby blow up on the Pistons and hold his own against Tim Duncan.  We've seen Leon Powe take over a game against the Lakers in the Finals.  But neither one consistently outperformed the other enough to win the job last year.

Both of them make up for a lack of height by boxing out and using their size and strength to fight for rebounds.  Both provide a spark of energy off the bench that can fire up the team and the fans, not to mention put the opponents on their heels.  Both were counted on to step up in big situations last year.  Sometimes they came up big, and sometimes they merely held down the fort while other players stepped up.  But they seldom made truly costly mistakes because both knew what their role was within the concept of Ubuntu (team).

Still, they had their weaknesses.  Doc was reportedly uncomfortable with Powe's defensive rotations even well into the playoffs. His offensive game boils down to putbacks off of rebounds and scrappy hustle plays.  Meanwhile Big Baby is quite comfortable with the ball in his hands and can create his own shot, even in traffic.  On the other hand, Davis was very hit or miss last year while Leon was at least capable of stringing together 4 or 5 very good games.

baby.jpgAs a result, Doc effectively platooned them for most of the year.  If Davis was clicking early on, he would just ride that wave as far as it would take us.  Otherwise, Powe would get the call.  Sometimes it was the other way around.  At times it was based on matchups.  Some shot blockers were able to frustrate Powe while Davis was able to create space to get his shot off.  Sometimes Davis looked very much like a rookie and Powe simply had another year of experience under his belt.

There's still a chance that they could end up in a similar platoon this year.  However, I tend to believe that both players will take a step forward in their progression.  Under other circumstances, either one could be counted on to take over the backup power forward spot.  Now we get to see two talented guys scrap and claw their way for a chance to win the job.  Let's just hope that they don't bang each other up too much before the preseason games start (where they can take it out on opponents).

So who do you think will win the job?  Or do you think they'll continue to be platooned?  If Ainge were to trade one of them, who would you prefer to go?  Who do you think has the most trade value?

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