Celtics, Lakers among teams in talks with Powe

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Celtics, Lakers among teams in talks with Powe

When the Boston Celtics shape their roster for upcoming seasons, former members of the team often emerge as possibilities. Leon Powe has been one of them since leaving the Cs two years ago.

Powe told CSNNE.com in a telephone interview on Thursday night there have been discussions with the Celtics as well as other teams around the league (one that may jump out to Boston fans) regarding this season.

We have been talking to the Celtics, the (Los Angeles) Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies, and the (Sacramento) Kings, said the unrestricted free agent. Thats all we have been talking to right now. Ive been working out, staying in shape, just getting ready for whatever team Im going to go to. Theyre all pretty good teams and were just trying to see where to go from here. Were waiting to hear back from all of them and hopefully Ill get something going in the next few days because training camp starts tomorrow.

Powe, a California native, has been working out in Los Angeles but still has interest in returning to Boston.

Id love to be back there, he said. I already told my agent (Aaron Goodwin), if everythings right, yeah I would love to be back again. Its where I called home for three years. Everybody out there has been very nice to me, very kind and Ive got much love for them. Its just a matter of situation, everything shaping up the right way, yeah I would love to come back.

Powe will hit the gym on Friday as others begin training camp. Hampered by knee injuries at points in his career, he has made his health a priority while he prepares for his sixth NBA season.

Feeling good, feeling good, he said. My health was the number one thing I was working on. Im 100 percent and ready to go. Ive just been putting in a lot of work on my body and on my game too in the summer this offseason, so its been great all around.

The 6-8 forward has also worked on expanding his offense away from the basket. He has focused on developing a consistent 15-foot jumpshot -- You have to mix it up, he said -- and looks forward to contributing his new skills to whichever teams he plays for.

I hope once I get to a team I want to show all Ive been working on, how much my game improved, and how much I got better, he said. I can help the team as a sixth man, you can put me in there 25, 30 minutes, and Im going to produce. Im just trying to make sure once I get that opportunity, Im ready to go.

While it remains to be seen where Powe will sign this season, one thing is clear.

Im 100 percent healthy, he said. Feeling good, ready to play some ball, and ready to go.

Don't expect to see Celtics shy away from 3-pointers

Don't expect to see Celtics shy away from 3-pointers

BOSTON – There were a bunch of numbers from Boston’s 121-114 loss to Detroit on Wednesday that stood out. 

Among the eye-grabbing stats was the fact that the Celtics had taken 42 3s (with 15 makes), an unusually high number of attempts that we may see matched or even surpassed tonight against the Sacramento Kings. 

Don’t count head coach Brad Stevens among those surprised to see the Celtics attempt a lot of three-pointers. 

Last season the Celtics took 26.1 three-pointers per game which ranked 11th in the NBA. 

This season they’re up to 31.2 three-pointers attempted and 11.3 made which both rank fifth in the NBA. 

You can count Kelly Olynyk among the Celtics pleased with the team's increased emphasis on shooting 3s. 

The 7-foot led the NBA in shooting percentage (.405) on 3s taken last season.

"We play a lot of spread offense with four shooters, four perimeter guys," Olynyk, who is shooting 38.1 percent on 3s this season, told CSNNE.com. "We're trying to make teams shrink their defense and spray out and hopefully make shots. You're making extra passes, giving up good ones for great ones. And we have some pretty good shooters on our team. That's the way we're trying to play. It's just a matter of us making shots."

And the Celtics face a Kings team ranks among the NBA’s worst at limiting 3-point attempts with Sacramento opponents averaging 28.4 three-pointers taken per game which ranks 25th in the league. 

One of Stevens’ main points about three-pointers is while it’s an important shot for them, they need to be the right shot, the right basketball play at the right time. 

And when asked about the 42 attempts against the Pistons, he was quick to acknowledge those were for the most part the right shots to be taken. 

“They are,” Stevens said. “At the end of the day we want lay-ups. And if we don’t get layups, we want the floor to be shrunk. If the defense shrinks in, you’re able to touch the paint and kick out. Two of our last three games, maybe three of the last four, two-thirds of our possessions we touched the paint or shrunk the defense with a roll. That’s our objective. We’re not a team that gets to the foul line a lot. We’re not a team that rebounds at a high rate. And we haven’t scored in transition. To be able to be sitting where we are offensively, a big reason is because we space the floor.”

Barnes, Cousins trying to keep 'emotions and energy focused'

Barnes, Cousins trying to keep 'emotions and energy focused'

BOSTON – No one is proclaiming DeMarcus Cousins’ demeanor is all that radically different than past seasons. 

But the volatile nature that has often overshadowed his on-the-court-brilliance, doesn’t seem to shine as brightly as it used to. 

Maybe he’s growing up. 

Maybe he’s finally comfortable with his team. 

And then there’s the almighty dollar which was the incentive for one of his teammates, Matt Barnes, to clean up his act as far as racking up technical fouls and being fined by the league. 

I asked Barnes whether there was a light bulb moment or a teammate or player that helped him get on track and not draw so much attention from officials and the league office. 

“It was all the money I was being fined,” he said. “I think I lost like $600,000 over my career for fines. It was time to kind of wake and say ‘hey, they don’t like you so you have to stick to the book.’”

With Barnes returning to Sacramento (he played for the Kings during the 2004-2005 season), he finds an intense, kindred spirit of sorts in Cousins who like Barnes has had his share of technical and fines handed down by the league office. 

This season, Cousins is the NBA’s leader in technical fouls with six. 

“I’ve always had a good head on my shoulders,” Barnes said. “I’m just a passionate player. I play with my emotion on my sleeve. I think DeMarcus does the same thing. What I’m trying to show him now, we have to keep our emotions and energy focused towards the right things. That could be detrimental to the team if it gets out of hand.”

First-year coach Dave Joerger has been pleased to see how different Cousins is to be around on a daily basis as opposed to how he’s perceived. 

“He gets credit for his talent. He gets credit that he’s improved in the league,” Joerger said. “I think he doesn’t get enough credit for the way that his approach to the game and the way that he’s carrying himself and conducting himself has greatly improved. He’s a good person. Now being with him, I see improvement over the last three years, the way that he goes about his business. I think that’s very positive.”