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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 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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Powe leaves the game 04.20.09 at 7:47 pm ET
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Leon Powe walked back toward the locker room with 10:13 left in the second quarter. Powe, who has been wearing a heavy-duty brace after spraining his right knee in March against the Bulls, has not been moving that well tonight. In seven minutes he posted two points, one rebound, and was called for one foul.

Update: Powe suffered a minor left knee sprain. He is expected to return.

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Postseason lessons learned the hard way 04.15.09 at 9:38 pm ET
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Last season, the Celtics realized the hard way that the playoffs are where “Game Sevens happen.” After 26 postseason games and two trips of the brink of elimination en route to their championship, the Celtics will enter this weekend against the Chicago Bulls with valuable lessons learned.

Check your swagger at the door
The Celtics looked indestructible in Boston … and then they hit the road. They failed to win in Atlanta and Cleveland before pulling out a victory in Detroit. Last season they were saved by homecourt advantage but this time around they have no choice but to win away from the Garden.

Ray Allen: “Those three series that we played, we were up 2-0 and I think losing that first game in the other team’s building, you almost have too much swagger going into a building. I think Doc said it last year, ‘If you show up thinking wearing the green is going to be good enough, that’s when you end up losing.’ And I think that’s what happened to us. That preparation that we have at home has to carry over on the road, so it has to be even more intense and we have to be even better. So that’s where we don’t look at ourselves as targets. We look at other teams that we have to beat because now we have to go in Cleveland and win.”

Take care of your body
Postseason schedules can be unforgiving, especially when they involve cross-country trips that put players in different time zones from day to day. It is easy to get rundown, and one of the most important tasks a player has is staying healthy during the playoffs.

Glen Davis: “You’ve just got to get your rest, basically. You can’t do things like going out, staying out late nights. You have to make sure you’re ready to perform. Get a lot of treatment if you’re hurt, eat right most definitely, and the most important thing is sleep. So if you just stay focused on that because you can’t do anything about the traveling, you’ve got to work around it.”

Avoid the hype
Aside from basketball analysis, personal stories are often highlighted during the playoffs. During the NBA Finals, Leon Powe captivated a nation when ABC told the tales of his troubled childhood. Powe had to avoid the instant spotlight to stay focused on the task at hand.

Leon Powe: “I tried to block everything out, especially during our playoff run because I had the story, I had a lot of family members calling me about the story, about this, about that, what are you doing, can I come over. No, no. I wasn’t having any of that because I wanted to keep my head and keep my focus on the game … I think I just do a good job of doing that because I keep my focus on the game and know what I’m here for. I’m here to play basketball. Whatever else is going on around me, that can wait because you’ve got a job to do and go out there and prepare for a game and prepare to win the series.”

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Powe expects to practice Monday 04.10.09 at 7:07 pm ET
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Leon Powe hasn’t played since spraining his knee on St. Patrick’s Day. He expects to return to practice on Monday, and he doesn’t want his teammates to go easy on him either.

“Oh no, no, no. I wouldn’t even practice. I wouldn’t even come to practice,” he said with a laugh prior to the Boston Celtics’ game against the Miami Heat. “No, don’t go easy on me. I want to go in there full speed. You’ve got to go at me so I can test it out.”

Powe is making so much progress, in fact, that he said he is “very much ahead of schedule.” He completed a 30-minute workout with assistant coach Clifford Ray on Friday, focusing on his legs with sliding, cutting, jumping, and post move drills.

But team doctors are still proceeding with caution. They have asked him to wear a brace as a preventative measure to avoid other players banging into his knee. Powe doesn’t like it – taking it on and off is the worst part, he says – but he knows it’s part of the recovery.

Head coach Doc Rivers still does not expect Powe to play before the playoffs.

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KG, Powe close to games at 12:19 pm ET
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When are regular season games more like practice?

When you’re trying to get two important pieces of your puzzle in order before the playoffs start.

Such is the case for Celtics coach Doc Rivers, who said at Friday morning’s shootaround that he still hopes to get Kevin Garnett (right knee) back in game action on Tuesday in Philadelphia and on Wednesday in the season finale against Washington.

“If we can play him 10 or 15 minutes, we will, if that’s what we think will give him better rhythm,” Rivers said. “But for us, we’ll use it as practice, and that may be the same for Leon.”

Leon Powe (right knee) went through some plays with the team on Friday morning, but not at full speed. He then worked with coach Clifford Ray on a rebounding drill where he caught the ball atop his ahead and then jumped back up immediately and shot the ball without bringing the ball below his shoulders.

“He was just trying to do drills to see how the leg responds,” Powe said. “So far, it responded real well to the drills we were doing.”

But don’t look for Brian Scalabrine (post-concussion) to return to action in the final two games of the season. Rivers said he would still rather be safe than sorry.

“The Scal thing, I’m not so sure,” Rivers said. “Even though I think he’s improving, I don’t know if we want to take the chance in a regular season game with him. Ball hits him on the head and he goes down, we literally don’t want to take that chance.”

The Celtics play Miami tonight and then at Cleveland on Sunday before wrapping up the season with a game on Tuesday in Philadelphia and at home against Washington on Sunday.

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Powe limited in workouts 04.01.09 at 7:18 pm ET
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Looking back, Leon Powe would have done things differently.

“I knew I shouldn’t try to set a pick. I don’t set picks anyways,” he laughed. “I don’t know what I was doing. I was trying to make Doc happy.”

Powe offered another update on his sprained knee prior to the Boston Celtics-Charlotte Bobcats game on Wednesday night. That afternoon he spent 45 minutes exercising in the pool rehabbing from the injury he suffered on March 17 against the Chicago Bulls.

“It felt good afterward. It actually felt better than when I first got in,” he said. “So we’re going to stick with the pool work, of course, just try to take it day by day. If I feel good, we’ll do something else. If I don’t, we’ll keep it the same.”

Powe plans on spending a lot of time in the water. His workout routines are limited by team doctors, who also have cleared him to riding the stationary bike in intervals. Other than shooting free throws, Powe does not expect to be practicing on the court for at least another week to week-and-a-half.

While Powe is anxious to help the Kevin Garnett-less Celtics — “I want to come back for my bigs. I’ve got to get healthy for my bigs,” he said — he knows rushing back too soon could lead to more problems in the future. He has set a goal for his return but will not disclose the date.

“I learn something new every day, but you know me, I just don’t want to come back and not be myself,” he said. “So I’m going to make sure I’m going to be myself before I come back out there. Especially on defense, that’s where I really want to be effective.”

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