Celtics

Leon Powe waived by Cavs, open to Celtics return

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Leon Powe waived by Cavs, open to Celtics return

By JessicaCamerato
CSNNE.com

As the Celtics dealt away Kendrick Perkins and Semih Erden on the trade deadline, another big man became available on the free-agent market.

Former Celtic Leon Powe was waived by the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday, ending his two-year stint with the team. Powe appeared in just 34 games for the Cavs since signing with the team in 2009.

Now he is looking to help another organization win, just as he did with the Celtics in 2008. While Powe is exploring all of his options as a free agent, he would be open to returning to the Cs.

"Ill be happy wherever I end up, but Boston is always holding a special place in my heart," Powe told CSNNE.com on Thursday evening. "The fans were so good to me, everybody up there was so nice, and it would be a great thing to return back to the Celtics if I could."

Powe, a 6-foot-8, 240-pound forward, is a player the Celtics may have interest in reaching out to as they fill out their roster, with two spots currently available.

The Celtics traded five players on Thursday and acquired Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic from the Oklahoma City Thunder. They also signed Chris Johnson (Dakota Wizards, NBA Development League) to a 10-day contract. The Celtics are still, however, without the injured Jermaine ONeal and Shaquille ONeal.

Powe believes he can be a contributor on any team looking to win it all.

"I love to play defense," he said. "I can get some scoring, rebounding, and some extra toughness. Thats my type of game. I think every team could use that, but well see what happens from here on out."

In his three years with the Cs, he was known for his hustle, defensive-focus, and "do-whatever-it-takes-to-win" mentality. Even though Powe was part of a losing team this season, he has not lost his winning attitude. He stresses the importance of cherishing the moment and putting his best foot forward every game.

"I think I can help a team reach their goals and try to win a championship," he said. "I think thatd be a good fit for me because I dont have to play 40, 45 minutes. If I needed to I could, but I dont have to do that. I can come in, fill in some spots, and just be solid. Im just looking for that opportunity to try to get that done."

As Powe awaits to see where the remainder of the season will take him, he is thankful for all of the encouragement and support he receives. He may have left Boston in 2009, but he is still very much on the minds of Celtics fans.

"They still support me and appreciate what I did back then, helping the team out, being a good sport, doing good community work, never complaining," he said. "I think they appreciate that and the hard work, and I really appreciate them too."

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter athttp:twitter.comjcameratoNBA

Stevens knows hanging banners is ‘what it’s all about’ in Boston

Stevens knows hanging banners is ‘what it’s all about’ in Boston

BOSTON – When Brad Stevens took the Boston Celtics job in 2013, he knew what he was getting into.
 
Yes, the Celtics at that time were rebuilding which usually means years and years of slow but steady progress – if you’re lucky.
 
And then after maybe a few years of struggling to win games, a breakout season occurs and just like that – you’re back in the playoffs.

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 But here’s the thing with the Celtics.
 
While most rebuilding teams spend years working their way towards being competitive, Stevens hit the ground running and in just four years, he led the Celtics from being a 25-win team to one that was just three wins away from getting to the NBA Finals.
 
He has the kind of basketball resume that’s impressive on many levels.
 
But Stevens knows good isn’t good enough in this town.
 
“We’re here in Boston,” he said. “Winning is good, but hanging one of those (banners) up is what it’s all about. That’s what makes this such a special franchise.”
 
And for Stevens, a franchise where the expectations for success under his watch have never been greater than they are now.
 
Boston only returns one starter (Al Horford) from last year’s squad which advanced to the Eastern Conference finals after having won an East-best 53 games.
 
However, they added a pair of All-Stars in Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving to join Horford. In addition, they drafted Jayson Tatum with the third overall pick in last June’s NBA draft.
 
Boston also has a slimmed-down Marcus Smart (he lost 20 pounds from a year ago) as well Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier who will both benefit from having another NBA season under their belts.
 
And while it’s a small sample size and consists of just two teams (Philadelphia and Charlotte), the Celtics breezed their way through the preseason with a flawless 4-0 record which included at least one game in which they did not play their usual starters which shows how impactful their depth may be this season.
 
That success can only help, especially with a challenging schedule that includes seven of their first 11 games being on the road. 
 
Still, the potential of this Celtics team has never been greater than it is right now since Stevens took over in 2013.
 
And just like the increased expectations of the team, the same can be said for Stevens who is considered one of the better coaches in the NBA.
 
Marcus Morris will begin his first season with the Celtics, but had a lot of respect for Stevens well before he was traded to Boston from Detroit this summer.
 
“You hear a lot of good things about him from other players,” Morris told NBC Sports Boston. “And once you get in here and start working with him and seeing what he does every day, you see what they’re talking about. He’s a good coach, man.”
 
This team’s success will hinge on how the players perform, but there’s an added element of pressure on Stevens to find the right combinations that will position the Celtics for success.
 
“We have a lot more guys who can do a lot more things on the court, so it will be a little more challenging for us to figure out how to best play with each other, and for Brad to figure out which combinations are the best ones,” Al Horford told NBC Sports Boston. “But we’ll figure it out. Brad’s a really good coach, a really smart coach. And on our team, we have a lot of players who are smart, high basketball I.Q. guys. We’ll be OK.”
 
Basketball smarts aside, the Celtics’ success will hinge heavily on how quickly they can bring a roster with 10 new players up to speed quickly.
 
It’s still early, but players like what they’ve seen from the collective body in terms of team chemistry.
 
“I think that’s the beauty of a lot of guys on the team,” said Gordon Hayward. “It’ll be different each night with some of the different roles we play.”
 
Which is why the Celtics, while lacking experience as a team because of so many new faces, are still seen as capable of winning because they have a number of players who can impact the game in many ways.
 
But as good as they are, it still comes back to Stevens doing a good job of putting them in the best positions to find success individually as well as for the Celtics team.
 
When you look at how time with Stevens jumpstarted Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder’s careers, or how it helped revitalize the career of Evan Turner, it’s obvious that he has the Midas touch when it comes to getting the most out of players.
 
For Boston to have the kind of success they believe they are due for, it’s going to take the contributions of many.
 
And even that might not be enough.
 
But having the path being bumpier than expected is something Stevens embraces.
 
“Here in this league,” he said, “you have to love challenges.”

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