Take Game 2 of the 2008 NBA Finals.
Most Celtics fans remember that as the night Powe emerged on the national stage with a dominant 21-point performance against the Los Angeles Lakers. He had played less than 15 minutes.
Phil Jackson was so flabbergasted that he purposely mispronounced the then-24-year-old’s name in his postgame comments.
Less than a year later, when Kevin Garnett left a fateful game in March with a knee strain, Powe scored 30 points in his stead.
The Oakland native, who at one point in his life was homeless, then tore his ACL in the first round of the playoffs that season — and played on it for three minutes before Doc Rivers pulled him out.
He’s got insane drive and heart and, when healthy, is a top-tier offensive rebounder who plays tireless defense and can score when needed.
Exactly the kind of guy the Celtics need this offseason.
Think about the pros:
1. He’ll be incredibly cheap. We’re talking less than $1 million — a big plus given Boston is already over the luxury tax threshold with just six guys currently under contract. Powe has already said he wants to come back to Beantown.
2. He knows the system. Remember how long it took newbies like Semih Erden, Nenad Krstic, Jeff Green, etc. to learn Boston’s complex defense? Powe already thrived in it for three seasons.
3. He’s a locker room guy. The C’s could use a little team-building after losing Kendrick Perkins last season, and they’ll likely have some new faces when the season begins. Powe is universally loved by the Big Four and Doc. Don’t tell me chemistry’s not important for championship runs. A man of Powe’s integrity and likability could be a glue guy during a title run.
4. Boston needs big men on the bench. Right now, Jermaine O’Neal is all the C’s have. Word is, Danny Ainge is making a move on Glen Davis, but he’ll need at least two additional 4’s or 5’s.
How about the cons? Balky knees and a sorely lacking outside game on offense.
I’d say, given the low bid price on Powe, that’s low-risk, high-reward.
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