Loss of Powe increases pressure on Moore

BDodgers at aol.com BDodgers at aol.com
Wed Apr 22 03:52:27 UTC 2009

    Chris Mannix >  

Loss of Powe increases pressure on Moore to turn back clock on  career
Story Highlights 
Loss of Leon Powe the latest blow to an injury-ravaged  Celtics front line
Powe expected to have surgery for torn knee ligament in  next few months
Mikki Moore has not provided Celtics production they need  in thin 

WALTHAM, Mass --You have to wonder if the basketball gods  are conspiring 
against the Celtics this season. 
First, _Kevin  Garnett_ 
(http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/nba/players/3007) , one of the NBA's foremost ironmen -- KG has played in all  82 
games three times in his 14-year career and in at least 76 games 10  times 
-- went down with a potentially season-ending knee injury. Then it  was 
_Brian  Scalabrine_ 
(http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/nba/players/3544)  taking a place on the inactive list after absorbing one  too many 
concussions. The latest blow came on Tuesday, when Celtics coach  Doc Rivers told 
reporters that _Leon  Powe_ 
(http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/nba/players/4177)  would miss the rest of the season after tearing his ACL in  
the second quarter of Boston's win over Chicago on Monday. 
"Obviously a tough break," said Rivers. "He just does so  many right 
things. He played three minutes with a torn ACL. That says so  much about Leon." 
If the camel's back wasn't already broken in Boston, this  might be the 
straw to do it. Powe's regular season numbers weren't gaudy:  in 70 games, Powe 
averaged 7.7 points and 4.9 rebounds. But with Garnett  sidelined and _Glen 
 Davis_ (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/nba/players/4313)  
struggling to defend the pick-and-roll in Game 1, there was  a groundswell of 
support for Powe, a physical defender and the team's No.  2 offensive 
rebounder in the regular season, to play a more expanded  role. 
With Powe looking at reconstructive surgery in the next  few months, 
Boston's front line is now paper thin. Three players -- _Kendrick  Perkins_ 
(http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/nba/players/3730) , Davis and _Mikki  
Moore_ (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/nba/players/3308)  -- 
will be asked to check a Chicago front line that is  young, athletic and, at 
least through two games, has shown no fear of the  defending champions. 
"Mikki, Perk and [Davis], they have to be on the floor,"  said Rivers. 
"Silly fouls, we have to take them out. Mikki had a couple  last night but he is 
getting better. He is so used to playing hard and  free and running around. 
Here, you have to play hard and disciplined. In  football terms, you have 
to run your route. That's our team, defensively.  His intent is great. It's 
his execution that needs  improvement." 
Execution ... and maybe a few other things, too. Much was  made of the 
Celtics' signing of Moore in February, mainly because a lot of  people thought 
they were getting Moore, circa 2007. Back then Moore led  the NBA in 
field-goal percentage and was a staple in the playoff-bound  _New Jersey Nets_ 
(http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/nba/teams/nets) ' starting lineup. 
Instead,  Moore (4.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.0 fouls in 19 minutes per 
game with  Boston) has played like the inconsistent, defensively-challenged 
player  Sacramento dumped just 1 ½ years into a partially guaranteed 
three-year,  $18-million contract. 
Boston can't afford to carry that player on the floor.  They need Moore, 
the most athletic big they have available, to run the  floor with _Tyrus  
Thomas_ (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/nba/players/4132)  and 
challenge _Joakim  Noah_ 
(http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/nba/players/4287)  around the rim. They need him to take the defensive pressure  off 
of _Paul  Pierce_ 
(http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/nba/players/3253) , _Ray  Allen_ 
(http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/nba/players/3080)  and _Rajon  Rondo_ 
(http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/nba/players/4149)  by knocking down the 15-foot jumper that was a major part of  
his repertoire in New Jersey. It's the only way this Celtics team can  
salvage what is looking more and more like a lost  season.
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