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

Still wait-and-see on Smart's status for Celtics' opener


Still wait-and-see on Smart's status for Celtics' opener

BOSTON – Marcus Smart’s sprained left ankle injury continues to heal, but the Celtics remain in wait-and-see mode when it comes to his availability for the season opener on Wednesday against Brooklyn.
Smart sprained the ankle in the second quarter of a 121-96 preseason loss to the New York Knicks when he stepped on the foot of Knicks guard Justin Holliday.
He was helped off the floor by teammates Avery Bradley and Isaiah Thomas along with head trainer Ed Lacerte.
Since the injury, the Celtics have been pleased with the healing progress of the ankle, the same ankle he sprained as a rookie which kept him out for several weeks.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Smart is no longer in a walking boot and continues to be day-to-day as he receives a steady diet of treatments to help speed up the healing process.
Smart will undergo a series of tests to determine the ankle’s strength, prior to getting any kind of clearance to play.
That’s why Stevens isn’t worried about Smart returning to the floor too soon.
“I trust our staff. Our staff and Marcus will make that decision well,” Stevens said. “Then I play guys, if they are available.”
Smart has established himself as one of the Celtics’ top reserves, with the ability to play both guard positions and some small forward depending on the lineup on the floor. The Celtics have to prepare for the possibility that he will not be able to play in the opener (or the first few games considering Boston opens with three games in four nights.

His absence would create more playing time for Terry Rozier in addition to likely resulting in extended minutes for starters such as Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder.
As eager as Smart is to get back on the floor, he and the Celtics are mindful of the big picture.
This team wants to make a deep playoff run and they’ll everyone – Smart included – to do so.
That’s why as much as Smart wants to get on the floor immediately, he has to remember – or be reminded of – that this is an 82-game season and his long-term value to this team and its goals can’t be taken for granted.

Olynyk cleared for full contact at Celtics' practice


Olynyk cleared for full contact at Celtics' practice

BOSTON - The Celtics got a bit of good news on the injury front with Kelly Olynyk being cleared for full contact.
The 7-foot center participated in most of the Celtics’ drills on Saturday, some of which included contact.
Olynyk said he had been doing some contact work prior to practice Saturday, but in a more controlled setting.
“I’m just trying to ramp it up a little bit more, every day,” Olynyk said. “Just trying to take a step in the right direction every day.”
Olynyk had surgery on his right shoulder in May with him expected to be out for at least five months.
Danny Ainge, C's president of basketball operations, recently said that he anticipated Olynyk returning sometime in the middle of November.
That would put his return about six months out from the time of surgery.

“He did a lot more than he has done,” coach Brad Stevens said. “We’ll see how he feels and progress at the appropriate rate after that.”
One of the strengths that Olynyk brought to the floor when he played was the ability to help space the floor because of his 3-point shooting.
Olynyk was not just a good 3-point shooter for a center, but one of the better 3-point shooters in the NBA last season when he connected on 40.5 percent of his 3s last season.  And it’s clear that last season was not a fluke, evident by him shooting 37.3 percent on 3s for his career.
However, the addition of Al Horford not only solidified the Celtics’ interior defense but also provides them with another stretch center.
Horford, who spent the past nine seasons with the Atlanta Hawks, shot 34 percent on 3s last season which at the very least, makes him a player that defenses have to respect when he’s outside of the 3-point line.