With the regular season over and the playoffs rapidly approaching I need to wrap this series up. Hence Leon Powe and Brian Scalabrine on the same day. I have to admit that I did not delve too deeply into Scalabrine. That's because of his limited role this season and a post I made back in January. Still you have to respect that dunk on the Bobcats. Enjoy.
Player: Leon Powe
Strengths: Work ethic, nose for the ball, long arms, strength, sneaky offensive skills, great hands, ridiculous badass, draws fouls, both Tommy Heinsohn AND Bob Cousy love his game.
Weaknesses: I'm under the impression that he struggles with defensive rotations at times and I vaguely recall him having a hard time getting the plays down last season. However, surprise, surprise he has gotten better and better with every increase in playing time.
Go to Move: Powe still benefits most from attacking the glass for offensive rebounds and being on the receiving end of passes from Paul Pierce and others. Last season and up until halfway through this one, I would have said he has no offensive game. Now I'd argue that he is a creative scorer. And I'll take 71% from the line.
What a Difference a Year Makes: As one of 6 holdovers from last year's miserable season Powe definitely understands how remarkable this turn around has been. And in that turn around he evolved from a hustle guy at the end of the bench to a legitimate rotation guy. It was awesome to watch. More on that later.
Shining Moment This Season: When it was all said in done Powe earned a DNP in 25 games, 23 of which were a coach's decision. That was due largely to his limited role early in the season. Prior to January 18th he saw less than ten minutes of playing time in every game he appeared in but one. Ironically Kevin Garnett's injury was beneficial to Powe, as it got him into the rotation. From there Powe had the game winning hustle basket at Minnesota, the 25 and 11 at Miami (sans KG and Ray Allen), the 21 points in the streak snapping victory over Houston and a number of other "Holy crap Leon Powe has arrived" moments. Celtics fans already loved him. The fact that he can play AND bumped Brian Scalabrine out of the rotation only sweetened the deal.
If not in Boston which NBA team would make the most sense?: I don't even want to think of Powe playing anywhere else. Although he could definitely help the team that drafted him (Denver Nuggets) by adding toughness, defense, an ability to play without the ball and sanity. And if you don't think he could help Toronto you're crazy.
Random Point of Information: We already know that the Leon Powe story is remarkable. Minus the knee injuries or plus 2 inches and there is no way in hell he winds up in Boston. But how about this Rod Benson story, with a less than flattering Powe cameo? Although, in hindsight Powe is better off not serving time in an Italian prison for messing dudes up.
Contract Situation: Powe is signed for just under $800,000 next season. After that it will be interesting to see if he comes back. As much as I love his game I could see some other team wildly overpaying him and the Celtics reluctantly watching him go.
Player: Brian Scalabrine
Shining Moment This Season: No contest: