|Glen Davis vs. Leon Powe||10.05.08 at 9:57 pm ET|
This question is bound to surface several times throughout the season. Both players proved last season that they can make an impact in the paint. Big Baby is unexpectedly light on his feet and showed early signs of maturity in his rookie campaign. Powe displayed a quiet intensity while stealing the show in Game 2 of the NBA Finals.
So what separates the two young big men? Who better to answer that than Davis and Powe themselves.
There were plenty of comparisons between the two of you last season and there will be even more now that you have another year of experience. What makes your game different from each other’s?
GD: I think I’m more of a finesse player than Leon. Leon is a finesse player but I think I’m more of a finesse player as far as popping, shooting a jumper. Leon is an aggressive rebounder, aggressive in the post, so he does some great things for our team. He adds a lot of muscle.
LP: I think I’m different than him because he attacks. I attack, I dunk on people, too. I play a little bit more above the rim than he does. But we both have a similarity in hustle and getting to the line and guarding people.
How does he challenge you in practice?
GD: Just by going hard every day. Two competitors, we’re going to compete.
LP: You know me, when I’m in practice I’m going to war so I’ll see him as an enemy in practice. He’s a good defender and if you’re able to score over him then that’s great for me because that shows that I’m getting better and improving my game for the regular season.
On the flip side, how do you compliment each other on the court?
GD: If he doesn’t have the ball, I have the ball and rebound. He gives you a lot of motivation to play hard, not verbally but through his actions so that’s a great thing.
LP: I think we work well together. If you look at the times we’ve been on the court, we either sustained the lead or pushed the lead up. We didn’t have any trouble guarding the other teams’ big men and keeping them under control, and we were doing a little bit of scoring of our own.
What did you learn from one another last season that will help you this season?
GD: I saw that every opportunity that he had, he seized the moment and that’s a good thing. On the bench you don’t get a lot of time and him coming in his second year, he understood that and he did it. So hopefully me coming into my second year, I’ll understand that and capitalize off some things.
LP: Me and him, he brought out the competitiveness in me. (Pauses) I do not want him to score. He does not want me to score. And so when we play and we get on the practice court, we go 150%. Actually, (head) coach (Doc Rivers) had to calm us down a few times. We’re always getting into it and he had to calm us down a couple of times because me, I take stuff out of hand and I know he does too because we’re all competing out there.
What do you expect from Glen/Leon this season?
GD: Him going into this third year now, he should be a little bit more comfortable and be the player that he wants to be.
LP: He’s going to be that much better, that much smarter, and he’s going to calm down on the fouling a lot. He’s just going to have an overall feel for the game and he’s going to be more relaxed out there. He’s going to have a good year.
Enough about other people. What can we expect from you this season?
GD: Me? A lot more. I don’t know yet but it’s going to be a lot more. [I worked on] being consistent. Coming into the league as a rookie, it’s tough. It’s tough. There are some ups and downs but that’s what makes you a professional, when you can come in every day and be consistent. That’s what I’ve been trying to learn this summer and hopefully it’ll pay off this season.
LP: You might see a couple more coast-to-coasts, you know, just a couple. I’m not going to be reluctant so don’t trap my team when I’m in the game. (Laughs)
Davis got the nod 13 more times than Powe during the last regular season, but Powe’s experience and versatility to play the center position prevailed in the playoffs. Powe averaged 6.2 points and 3.2 rebounds in less than nine minutes per game during the NBA Finals. Davis appeared in just one postseason game against the Los Angeles Lakers.
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