• The news that Rashard Lewis tested positive for a steroids is, frankly, more surprising than the news about David Ortiz. I don’t really have much of a reaction beyond that. It might shock you all to know that I’m not much of a muscle head, so I really have no clue how effective those supplements are or what they do or what’s in them. (Lewis immediately apologized and claimed the steroid, commonly known as DHEA, must have been in an over the counter supplement he took toward the end of last season).
I’ve been into a GNC once, and it was only because it’s across from my gym and I was starving for a snack before a workout. I bought a Power bar.
Like Henry Abbott and J.E. Skeets, I tend to believe Lewis here. On TrueHoop, Henry essentially argues that athletes are foolish if they take any supplement sold at your local GNC-ish place without doing a ton of research first. I suppose that’s true, though, as I said, I don’t really know anything about the stuff.
I will say this, though: Missing a key starter for 10 games could–could–have an impact on the home-court advantage race, considering how close the elite teams will likely be.
• Everyone’s revisiting the old Powe-Baby debate today for various reasons, not the least of which is some confusion over why the C’s would give Shelden Williams $1.3 million but wouldn’t do the same for Powe.
A couple of interesting notes on this: Jon Nichols is doing some fun work over the summer examining various trends at Hardwood Paroxysm, including which players depend most on which types of shots for their scoring. Powe, it turns out, attempts a ton of lay-ups–not dunks, but lay-ups. Just over 50 percent of his shot attempts last season were lay-ups, the 8th-highest rate in the league, right behind Tony Allen and Rajon Rondo.
He’s also perhaps the best offensive rebounder in the league, in terms of the percentage of available boards he grabs while he’s on the floor.
Perhaps a bit of the C’s concern about Powe stems from the fact that if he loses whatever explosiveness remained in his knees, his offensive game will completely fall apart. He has nothing to fall back on.
As for Williams, I can only guess the C’s figured they could use a banger on the second unit. Assuming they re-sign Big Baby, they’ll have three of the most jumper-happy power forwards in the league in Baby, KG and Wallace (not to mention Scalabrine, if the survives the theoretical Marquis Daniels sign-and-trade). When Perk’s on the bench, the C’s could someone who can do Perk-ish things–set screens, grab rebounds, be mean.
• Bruce Bowen is still available. Let me say two things up front:
1) The Celtics don’t need Bruce Bowen
2) Bruce Bowen is really an amazing player. The guy does only two things well–man-to-man defense and the corner three. He’s terrible at everything else. He and Jason Kapono jockey every season for the title of worst rebounding forward in the league. His assist rate is non-existent. He can’t dribble in a way that helps his team. He doesn’t even record very many steals or blocks.
If he didn’t have a reputation–some might say a deserved reputation–as a dirty player, Bruce Bowen would be a freaking hero. The guy has had a lucrative championship career despite having minimal basketball talent. He is exactly the kind of player fans should relate to.
Everyone says he’s declining–and he clearly is–but you can’t really tell by his numbers. Sure, his PER was 5.4 last season, his lowest mark since 1999, and he averaged just 2.7 points per game. But his rebounding rate and assist rate stayed the same, and his three-point shooting mark actually improved.
Bowen’s numbers have been so consistently bad that you actually have to watch the Spurs play regularly to know if he’s declining. Most guys see their numbers drop as they age. But Bowen’s numbers really had nowhere to drop. He hasn’t had PER over 10 since 1998! He’s never averaged more than 8.2 points per game!
Only his minutes have dropped significantly, from about 30 per game in 2008 to 19 per game last year.
Of course, Gregg Popovich jacked up Bowen’s minutes back up to 26 per game during the playoffs.
If the C’s did sign Bowen, I think the anti-Celtic hatred would reach record levels. Which would be sort of fun.
• The C’s still don’t have a back-up point guard, unless it’s going to be Lester Hudson or Marquis Daniels, and they don’t really have Marquis Daniels yet, either. Somebody asked me about Anthony Carter today. I like Anthony Carter as a 10-minute per game guy.
You know who I like him better than? Stephon Marbury. But Stephon Marbury is winning our reader poll asking you to choose one from among half-dozen potential back-up PGs (including the mythical “other”). He won a similar poll overwhelmingly on CelticsBlog a few weeks back.
I don’t get it. What do you people see in this man? It can’t be his numbers. I’ve gone through them before. They were awful. Tell me. What am I missing?