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Official Powe Statement 04.21.09 at 3:41 pm ET
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On Tuesday the Boston Celtics issued the following statement about forward Leon Powe:

“The Boston Celtics announced today that forward Leon Powe suffered an ACL tear and a meniscus tear in his left knee during Game 2 against the Chicago Bulls in the First Round of the 2009 NBA Playoffs.  Powe will miss the remainder of the playoffs.  A surgery date will be determined at a later date.  This injury is unrelated to the right knee injury that he suffered on March 17.  Powe is expected to make a full recovery from his surgery.”

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Report: Powe out for season 04.21.09 at 12:50 pm ET
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Citing NBA sources, the Boston Globe has reported Celtics forward Leon Powe is expected to undergo surgery on his left knee and will miss the remainder of the postseason. Powe injured his left knee during Game 2 of the Celtics-Bulls series. He left the game in the second quarter and was taken to the hospital for an MRI. Powe had recently rehabbed from a right knee injury, which he suffered in March against the Bulls.

The loss of Powe depletes the Celtics frontcourt. Already playing without Kevin Garnett, Powe was the first option off the bench for Glen Davis. He contributed eight points and eight rebounds in 17 minutes against the Bulls in Game 1. Powe also had proven playoff experience after a breakout performance in Game 2 of the 2008 NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers. He is a free agent after this season.

Update: Doc Rivers told reporters Powe has suffered a torn ACL. From Celtics.com:

“He played 3 minutes with a torn ACL on the floor, says so much about Leon Powe the person. Forget the playoffs and all that stuff. That’s just a tough injury for a kid who’s done everything right. That just makes no sense.”

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Leon’s knees 04.21.09 at 12:14 pm ET
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Late in the season, Leon Powe made an appearance in the Celtics locker room before a game and the subject was knees. “I know all about that,” Powe said then, exhibiting a sort of gallows humor.

The problem was the right knee, which he had strained in the St. Patrick’s Day game against the Bulls and would cause him to miss 12 games. The good thing, Powe was saying, was that it wasn’t the left knee. That was the one that almost screwed up his basketball career before it even got started.

As a high school player in Oakland, Powe was on the short list of every major college basketball recruiter in the country. A McDonald’s All-American, his bio on the University of California’s website explains that he is the most highly-regarded recruit ever to sign with then-coach Ben Braun (who became the Cal coach in the post-Jason Kidd era).

Powe injured his left knee in high school, but he still led the Pac-10 in rebounding as a freshman. That was when doctors discovered that he needed more surgery, two more surgeries in fact, which wiped out the following season. He returned as redshirt sophomore and had another monster year, but concerns about his knee caused him to drop to the second round of the 2006 draft where the Celtics stole him from Denver in a draft-day deal.

Considering his medical history, it has been a minor marvel that Powe has made it through his first three seasons in the NBA and been as productive as he’s been.

But now he has injured his left knee, the one that has caused him all the problems, and the Celtics are listing his status as questionable. With Kevin Garnett already out, that puts the onus squarely on Kendrick Perkins, Big Baby Davis and Mikki Moore. That’s it. That’s the big man rotation.

There is some hope that Brian Scalabrine could return for Game 3, but that still seems like a question mark and it’s worth noting that Scal hasn’t played at all since Feb. 23.

“We don’t worry about who’s not out there,” Davis said Monday night, and he has a point. The Celtics have been playing shorthanded up front for the last month or so and have done an admirable, if imperfect, job. Without Garnett, the Celtics are not nearly the same rebounding juggernaut that they were, and without Powe they lose a low-post scoring threat off the bench.

Perkins was masterful on the low block Monday night, torching the Bulls for 16 points and 12 rebounds on 7-for-9 shooting. The Celtics are going to need more of that from Perkins, and they are going to need quality minutes from Moore, as well, who played less than a minute in the second half, Monday.

UPDATE: The Globe’s Marc Spears is reporting that Powe will have surgery and that he is out for the playoffs.

Buckle in for a wild ride 04.21.09 at 12:33 am ET
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Give Chicago’s Tyrus Thomas this much credit-he can appreciate a great series.

And that’s what we have in the first round battle between the Bulls and Celtics, tied 1-1, heading back to Chicago Thursday night for Game 3.

“They came out quick and gave us a quick punch and we knew we had to come back and answer,” Thomas said. following Boston’s 118-115 heart-pounding win over his Bulls. “We did a good job and it came down to the wire. If we play like that for the rest of the playoffs, we’re probably going to be here for a while.”

His former teammate at LSU had a similar take on how great a series this has already been.

“Last year, we went seven games with Atlanta, and we were the No. 1 seed,” said Celtics power forward Glen Davis, who finished with 26 on Monday night. “Playoffs is the playoffs. Intensity level goes up, execution goes up and teams want it.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Fourth quarter update 04.20.09 at 9:52 pm ET
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A fumbled pass, a missed open layin, the Bulls committed costly errors down the stretch that let the Celtics get easy points on the board late in the game. Despite 42 points from Ben Gordon, the other UConn Husky hit the game-winner. As he has done so many times in the Garden, Ray Allen drained a three to give the Celtics a 118-115 victory. More  from Green Street after the locker room …

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Third quarter update 04.20.09 at 9:11 pm ET
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What we have here at the Garden is 12 minutes that could potentially decide a season. The Celtics have an 88-87 lead and to demonstrate the urgency of the situation, Doc Rivers did not go to his bench until there ere 40 seconds left in the third quarter.

Rajon Rondo returned to the lineup after spraining his right ankle in the first half and he already has a triple-double with 15 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists, but the big story has been Ray Allen who erupted for 16 points in the third quarter. Every Celtics starter is in double figures, but the bench has been non-existent.

The other issue was the staredown between Kendrick Perkins and Joakim Noah. There have been a lot of hard fouls in this game and Noah has emerged as Public Enemy No. 1 in the Garden. At one point he wandered toward the Celtics bench and got an earful from Kevin Garnett, who has been giving a lot of people an earful. Tyrus Thomas also had a few choice words for the C’s bench.

As we head into the final 12 minutes, the Celtics season is on the line.

Rondo records triple double 04.20.09 at 8:51 pm ET
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Rajon Rondo recorded a triple-double in the third quarter: 15 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists. The last time he posted a triple-double was February 12 against the Dallas Mavericks (19 points, 14 assists, 15 rebounds).

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