PHILADELPHIA – Leon Powe found himself in an unfamiliar spot Friday night against the Philadelphia 76ers – in the starting lineup.
Antawn Jamison’s knee issue kept him at home in Cleveland and thrust Powe into his role, the first time he’s started since his first major knee injury in the NBA.
‘’I’ve been through the fire. It’s nothing unusual for me,’’ Powe said. ‘’I don’t start, but I’ve been through finals playoff games and just all types of hostile environments.’’
The starting nod can be considered unusual because Powe didn’t get any minutes in the team’s prior two games – even with injuries to key players.
Starting Powe Friday was a way not to interrupt the rest of the team’s flow.
It keeps Andy coming off the bench and keep the other guys coming off the bench with them,’’ Brown said.
Varejao’s energy in a sixth-man role has always been coveted by Brown. It also gives Powe more chance to shake off the rust.
‘’Right now I’m just trying to give him minutes to let him get a taste of game action this season to see if we can get him up to speed for possibly the playoffs,’’ he said.
But the reality is that the forward acquired during free agency last summer, doesn’t possess a lot of athletic prowess just yet. Powe knows it.
‘’I’m not going to go out there and try to a 360 Alley-Oop. I know I can’t do that,’’ he said. ‘’I’m confident in my defense where I can hold guys up and push off on my leg and jump for rebounds and stuff, so that’s what I need.’’
Brown values his willingness to go out there and bang around and essentially do the dirty work on the court, he said and knows that the knee isn’t the problem.
‘’In terms of him being hurt? No. In terms of him getting used to the speed of the game and trusting that knee? Probably. Only on-court time will help out,’’ he said.