Powe Takes More Than His Game to Cleveland

Powe Takes More Than His Game to Cleveland First, James Posey. Now, Leon Powe.

Do the Celtics have something against unsung heroes?

For the second year in a row, they let a key bench player walk in the offseason. And for the second year in the row, the Celtics could end up regretting the move.

Posey and Powe are the epitome of glue guys — players who help a team win by doing everything that doesn’t show up in the box score.

Glue guys take charges, battle with big men in the paint and push them off the block so they never can find their sweet spot. Glue guys box out for rebounds, dive for loose balls and turn opposing scoring machines into frustrated spectators by denying them the rock every time down the floor. Glue guys wear hard hats, pack a lunch because they know it’s going to be a long day of work, and always are willing to get dirty (not in a Bill Laimbeer-cheap-elbow-to-the-ribs kind of way but in a bear-down, smack-the-floor, the-only-way-you’re-reaching-the-rack-is-by-going-through-me kind of way).

Glue guys don’t grow on trees. But without them, a team is just a collection of individual talent, the same as a model airplane is just a bunch of separate parts (wings, fuselage, engine, cockpit, landing gear) without any glue. Only once the glue is applied does it becomes an airplane.

The same is true of a basketball team — or any team, for that matter. The glue guy brings everyone together. He leads by example and inspires everyone with his hustle and heart. The extra effort rubs off on the rest of the roster, and everyone is motivated to work a little harder. Glue guys set the pace, and nobody wants to be the one who lets the team down.

Glue guys probably won’t ever be All-Stars. They don’t make regular appearances on All-NBA lists. And looking at their season or career stats won’t cause anyone’s eyes to pop out of the sockets like a cartoon wolf.

But when it comes to winning championships, glue guys have more rings than Hall of Famers.

The Celtics very likely wouldn’t have won banner No. 17 without Posey or Powe. Last season, Boston found out how difficult life could be without Posey. In the postseason, the green and white saw it’s no picnic without Powe.

Now life goes on for the C’s without either of them. And the search to find some glue continues.

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