Onrait: That's Powe, Not Pow, or Pau Talent Blog
6/9/2008 9:32:35 AM
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His father left his at age 2.

His home burned down at age 7.

He was taken away from his mother and put into foster care when he was a teen, often missing days of school to help care for his younger brothers and sisters.

His mother died 4 days before he played in his high school's State Championship.

If you think you had it bad growing up, maybe you should take a look at the life story of Leon Powe, a reserve forward for the Celtics who came off the bench to score 21 points in Boston's Game Two victory on Sunday night.

"It's been a long journey for me," said Powe after the biggest performance of his career.

Leon Powe is certainly not the first NBA player to break through adversity as a child and find success on the court as an adult, but it sure makes it easy to root for him now.

It made it easy for those at The Garden on Sunday night. "Le-on Powe!" "Le-on Powe!" they chanted as he made it to the free throw line again, and again and again. So many times, in fact, a clearly frustrated Lamar Odom noted after the game that Powe had taken more free throws than the entire Laker team.

"I didn't notice," said Kobe Bryant. Boy he sure is getting good at those subtle sarcastic answers. His head coach was a little less graceful.

"I'm more struck by the fact Leon Pow -- excuse me, Powe -- gets more foul shots than our whole team does in 14 minutes. That's ridiculous," said a clearly frustrated Phil Jackson.

Powe's performance was almost enough to overshadow the fact that Paul Pierce's sprained right knee, which seemed to be the ONLY story following Game One, was a non-story in Game Two. Pierce came out scoring in the first quarter and never stopped. He lead all scorers with 28 points. He also came up with a massive block on Sacha Vujacic near the end of the game that would have cut a 24 point 4th quarter deficit to just three.

"We got cute," said Celtics head coach Doc Rivers about his team's near meltdown.

The crowd at The Garden didn't think it was so cute. Halfway through the 4th quarter they were singing along in unison to The Isley Brothers "Shout", but seven minutes later they were stunned into silence and the Lakers threatened to complete one of the biggest comebacks in NBA playoff history.

It makes you wonder what kind of series awaits us in Los Angeles. Will the Celtics continue to stifle the Lakers defensively and frustrate them offensively? Or will L.A. be able to use some of the momentum from their near-comeback to propel themselves back into the series on their home court?

Game Three is Tuesday night on TSN. Make sure to tune in to our pre-game show at 8:00 EST when TSN Calgary Bureau Chief Jermain Franklin takes over for me as our reporter on the scene.

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