Powe unable to make a return trip to Boston


Powe unable to make a return trip to Boston

By JessicaCamerato

Leon Powe has played over 100 games at the TD Garden.

This week, however, he wont be able to add to that total.

Powe, who played the first three years of his career in Boston, suffered a torn right meniscus earlier this month and will stay back in Cleveland to continue his rehab when the Cavaliers take on the Celtics on Tuesday.

I was disappointed, Powe told CSNNE.com. I wanted to go out there to Boston. I havent seen some people, especially the fans, in a while. I wanted to go out there just to say hi to everybody and make sure they see my face.

Powe was drafted by the Celtics in 2006 and was a key role player in their 2008 championship season. After signing with the Cavaliers in 2009-10, he always looked forward to returning to the city where he got his start.

His plans were curtailed, though, during a Jan. 5 contest against the Toronto Raptors. Powe, who is averaging 13 minutes in 14 games this season, was two games off a season-high 14-point performance when the injury occurred.

I was just starting to get into playing some consistent minutes, Powe recalled. I drove and I took somebody from Toronto off the dribble and got fouled. But when I came down, his knee hit my knee in an awkward position. I think my knee shifted a little bit and messed up something inside of it, some cartilage on the meniscus a little bit. Ive got to sit out for four to six weeks, so Im doing rehab for that. Its never fun, but I know how to do it.

Powe is no stranger to rehabbing through pain. He has endured a series of injures to his left knee, including a torn ACL during the first round of the 2009 playoffs with the Celtics.

This time around its a different knee, but the process is the same.

I started on the court today, he said. I did some post moves, jump shots, some stuff on getting to the basket. Motion and movement stuff and the feel for basketball movement. It felt good. The swelling has been going down since the surgery and my movement has been getting better and better. Its only been two weeks and about two days, so they say Im on schedule, everything is looking good.

Once Powe is able to get back on the court, which he projects around the All-Star Break, the hard work will just be beginning.

The Cavaliers kicked off their season with a 95-87 win over the Celtics. They went .500 over their first 10 games, but then began to plummet. At 8-35, the Cavs have the worst record in the NBA. They are in the midst of a 16-game losing streak and have not won since Dec. 18 against the New York Knicks.

Powe has already experienced this kind of skid before. He was a rookie on the 2006-07 Celtics squad that lost 18 game in a row. Four seasons later, he wants to help turn around a losing situation.

Weve been going through a lot of tough times, so I want to help the Cavaliers try to finish out on a good note, he said. What I mean by that is get as many wins as we can and try to compete every game. Just play our hearts out and play every minute like its my last. Even though weve got a losing record, weve still got to go out there and compete and be professionals. You dont just want to keep getting blown out every game. I especially dont like that. I dont like losing at all.

As Powe tries to recover his knee - and the remainder of the Cavs season - he continues to draw strength from the sources that have gotten him this far.

I think its in my family, he said. My mom, everybody has helped me along the way. You never quit on anything. Just because theres something in front of you, it doesnt mean its too big or the challenge is too hard to overcome it. I think I can overcome everything. As long as I know Ill always work hard and I know Im going to do the necessary work, if its rehab or games or guarding somebody in a match up, Im going to do the work and make sure Im well prepared for the game, or especially for rehab because I know all about it.

Even though Powe will not be able to go up against the Celtics on Tuesday, he has seen them in action plenty of times this season.

Ive been watching them, he said. Im a basketball fan so Ive been watching a lot of basketball. The guys out there, theyre still my guys. I still want them to do good, as long as theyre not playing against me and my team (laughs). But other than that, I dont have anything against them. Theyre my guys over there.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter athttp:twitter.comjcameratoNBA

Blakely: Despite their spot in East, consistency remains a problem for Celtics

Blakely: Despite their spot in East, consistency remains a problem for Celtics

BOSTON –  Devin Booker went on a scoring binge for the ages against the Boston Celtics on Friday night, the likes of which won’t be seen anytime soon at the TD Garden.

The performance was so great, even the most die-hard Green Teamers had to give the 20-year-old props for dropping 70 points – 70 points! – on the Celtics who still wound up winning, 130-120.

And as Booker continued to pour on the points and the Celtics’ double-digit lead remained just that, a double-digit lead, the narrative of what we witnessed was a lot deeper than just some young kid getting hot.

The Suns are trying lose as many games as they can, while throwing youngsters out there like Booker to play major minutes and predictably make their share of mistakes with the goal being to learn from those miscues and get better.

But the true lesson in what went down Friday night had little to do with Booker’s big night or some Celtics being a little salty about it afterwards.

Lost in all of the hoopla surrounding Booker’s big night was the repeated revelation by Celtics head coach Brad Stevens after the game about his team’s play and their record not being on one accord.

“That’s why, like I’ve said before, I’m surprised at where we are record-wise because we’ve got to play at a higher level for 48 minutes,” Stevens said. “We just don’t do it.”

And Booker’s historic night is the latest example to illustrate Stevens’ point.

Not having Avery Bradley (sickness) was a factor, obviously.

But that’s no excuse for the way they allowed Booker to do anything and everything he wanted to on the floor, allowing a really good shooter to gain confidence to the point where there was literally nothing the Celtics could do to cool him off.

The Celtics looked casual for three-plus quarters defensively against the Suns and still managed to win which says more about Phoenix and its desire to lose as much as possible, than Boston’s ability to find success and overcome a player with a hot hand.

It was another case of Boston getting away from what works while settling into what felt good and easy.

Most of the guys Phoenix played on Friday weren’t players you would consider big-time scoring threats, so the Celtics defensively didn’t play with a defensive edge other than the first six minutes of the game.

In that span, Phoenix didn’t make a single shot from the field while Boston bolted out to a 16-3 lead.

From there, the Celtics didn’t play with the same sense of urgency.

Fortunately for them, they were playing a team that didn’t want to win.

That’s not going to be the case in these remaining games, a mixture of playoff-bound clubs, wannabe playoff-bound crews and a few others with rosters full of players fighting to stay in the league who will use these remaining games essentially as an audition for next season.

If Boston plays like this in any of their remaining games, they’ll most likely lose.

And that’s why Brad Stevens continues to harp on this team not being as good as their record.

Because when you’re in the same class record-wise with teams like Golden State, San Antonio, Cleveland and Houston, there’s a certain expectation of consistency you should play with most nights.

The Warriors and Rockets have explosive scorers; the Spurs play elite-level defense most nights and the Cavs have LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love.

Those factors form the basis of their consistency in terms of winning and overall play.

But the Celtics are very much a wild and unpredictable bunch, able to knock off Cleveland and Golden State, but get blasted by Denver and lose to Philadelphia.

If inconsistent play is a hallmark of this team, their potential for having a great season will be remembered as just that, potential.

Because games like the one they played on Friday against Phoenix on more nights than not, will result in a loss which could put the Celtics very much in the crosshairs for an early playoff exit.

Five takeaways: Booker's 70 puts focus on C's lack of D


Five takeaways: Booker's 70 puts focus on C's lack of D

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