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Is Leon's Injury Dis-POWE-sable?

By Sarah Barton


Note: What you are about to read is not a knock to Leon Powe in any way, shape, or form. (Leon, if you're reading, I sincerely hope you don't take it as such.) Powe has been a significant part of the Celtics' roster all season, and has stepped up big time in KG's absence. I'm not just saying that to be POWE-lite. He has put up some solid numbers this season.

That being said, do the Celtics need Leon in order to beat the Bulls? Let's check out two ESPN.com SportsNation polls.

POLL #1 (from April 20, the evening of Game 2 of the series)

"Which team will win the first-round series between the Celtics and Bulls? (Bulls lead 1-0)."

Bulls: 47%

Celtics: 53%

(108,200 votes)

POWE-LL #2 (from April 21, the day after Game 2)

"Which team will win the Bulls-Celtics series now that Leon Powe is out for the playoffs?"

Bulls: 63%

Celtics: 37%

(215,237 votes)

The discrepancy between these percentages still blows my mind. The Celtics won Game 2 to tie the series at one, but since Powe went down, so did everyone's faith in the C's POWE-tential to get out of the first round. I was unaware that Leon carried so much weight in Bean Town (and beyond). Also, how come in the first poll, the Celtics were listed first, then suddenly it became the "Bulls-Celtics series"? But I digress...

The Celtics can win without Leon, and have done so very recently. Powe missed 13 of the Celtics' last 15 regular season games with a knee injury (unrelated to Monday's injury), and no one seemed too concerned about the Celtics' ability to win games during that span. Boston went 10-3 during the games Powe missed, and their three losses came to the Magic, Cavs, and, well, the Bulls. But again I digress...

Leon's regular season averages were 7.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 17.5 minutes per game. In the first game of this series he had 8 points and 8 rebounds in 17 minutes. It's not like he was deviating from his norm. He played his usual role. Boston can compensate for that role. Not that Boston needs Scal either, but he was cleared to practice yesterday after a lengthy battle with head trauma. Who knows if Scal will suit up for Game 3, but he could POWE-tentially provide another body off the bench. He's no James POWE-sy, but at this point, anything will help.

Although Leon may not be the most im-POWE-sing Celtic, he will certainly be missed. Even so, I must disagree with the 63% of SportsNation who think the Celts won't get past the Bulls solely because Leon is injured. All season, the Celtics have shown that they are more than any one player; now they must prove that they are more than any two.


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