8.12.2009

The First Baby-Powe Matchup

I don't fault Leon Powe for signing with the Cavs. I'm just glad he didn't sign with the Lakers. No, the Celtics made it clear they didn't want Leon, and after playing championship-caliber basketball for 200 straight games, you could hardly be surprised that he went to play for another contender, even if he could have gotten more elsewhere.

Everyone will be geered up for the first matchup between the Celtics and Cavs in which Powe suits up, and I'm sure Leon will manage to drop a couple of his side-armed shots around KG and Sheed. He'll probably get two or three sent back his way, too. But the most interesting match-up will be with Glen Davis.

The two players were always characterized as mirror image bookends, Big 1(a) and Big 1(b) off the Celtics' bench. But the characterization belied crucial differences. Powe had the longer reach, was the better rebounder, especially on the offensive end, and was better overall in the paint. Baby had the better J and the better footwork, the latter of which made him the better position defender. I might give Powe the edge on drawing charges, but, if you give him that edge, then you also have to concede that he got slapped with more blocking fouls while attempting to draw charges.

Regardless, the two are likely to face-off more as the season progresses, Powe's knee gets better, and the two teams grind forward to a probable longish series next May. Each player will do what he can to distinguish himself and win the matchup. I just wonder, though, if KG and Sheed won't do more than Shaq and Z to enable Baby to outshine Powe in those matchups.

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