This year, we should have a battle at the Power Forward spot. We have Leon Powe, Al Jefferson, Ryan Gomes, and Brian Scalabrine.
Al has to be the front runner for the starting position. He had a very promising freshman year. Then, his second season got waylaid by injuries and it was a big disappointment. They finally found the problem in his ankle and by removing the bone chips, they removed the pain that Al had been playing with much of the season. He has worked hard this season, losing weight and working on his strength and conditioning. Last season, even when he wasn't battling the ankle injuries, he seemed to get winded after a short time on the floor. That shouldn't be a problem this season. He has also spent the entire summer working with Clifford Ray and now with Theo Ratliff improving his moves, his footwork and his defense.
Ryan Gomes has also spent the summer working hard on his game. He has increased his shooting range, and lost a little weight so as to increase his quickness. Gomes may see some time at the 3 as well as the 4 this season and it will depend on who wins the battle at the 4 just how much.
Leon Powe has an NBA ready body and is a very hard worker. He is very strong and has a big body and he has an instinct for rebounding. He increased his vertical leap by 3 inches this summer and will come in and work hard to win minutes at the 4. He has very long arms and this helps make him a shot blocker and rebounder and he has a soft touch and a quick spin move to the basket. Like Gomes, he was a 4 year college player and averaged a double double his senior year. Although the new kid on the block, he is a tough player and will work as hard as anyone to make the roster. The only question that most have with Powe is whether his surgically repaired knees will hold up to an NBA season. Although I expect the battle for the starting position to be between Gomes and Al, I wouldn't count Powe out for the future.
Scal was Danny's big free agent signing last year but was a huge disappointment for the most part. He came into training camp out of shape and seemed to be a step behind the entire year. I don't see Danny cutting Scal but I don't think anyone would be disappointed if he did. Scal should be the 15th man if he is on the roster. He may be a veteran, but he doesn't bring anything to the team that Al, Powe, and Gomes don't. Doc seems to have an affinity for veterans whether they can play or not and so he may end up playing whether he deserves it or not.
I believe that Al will start if he is healthy to start the season and Gomes will be the second PF off the bench. Powe should get some playing time but will have to prove himself before moving ahead of Gomes or Al. He may play some in the D League if there aren't enough minutes to go around. Hopefully, Scal stays stuck on the bench.
I believe that Kevin Pittsnogle can make this team and help at either the Center or Power Forward positions... Not many of you fans are giving him much of a chance but you better watch out, I think he is going to surprise you!!
I didn't give him a lot of chance to make the team at first, but seeing that he is in Boston working as hard as anyone and the fact that he beat Gomes, Al and everyone on that bike race thing on Saturday, I think he is making me rethink.
I guess its not fair for me to pass off Kevin Pittsnogle without giving him a fair shot to prove himself. His outside shooting can be a big help to stretch defenses and create mismatches, but just as important will be his ability to rebound and play defense.