With Malice is once again hosting the Unsung Player day this season. My first thought for the Celtics unsung player is always Perk. Although he is getting a lot more credit for what he does for this team this season. We saw what his presence on the court means to this team in last year's playoffs when he missed game 5 out in LA and that opened a lot of peoples' eyes to his importance. But he still doesn't get near enough credit for what he does because most of it doesn't show up in the box score.
But, the guidelines for the award is for a role player, rather than a starter. Here is what they are looking for in an unsung player:
A role player who gives his all in the 2-5 minutes he gets per game (should be definitely under 10 minutes). Someone who doesn't get a lot of recognition.
On the Celtics, the guy who gives his all for whatever amount of minutes he gets has to be Leon Powe. Whether he plays 5 minutes or 25 minutes, you know that you will get every ounce of energy this guy has. He gets more out of his minutes than any player in the league in my opinion. Much has been made of the Celtics missing KG, but the fact that we are also missing Leon Powe is a huge setback.
Powe is officially averaging 17 minutes per game, but he has ranged from DNP's to a starter with both Big Baby and KG out. Leon's minutes have been up and down his whole career and he never complains about lack of playing time when he the minutes are limited. He just stays ready and when his number is called, he comes in and gives it his all. One of the hardest things as an NBA player is to deal with an inconsistent role and Leon has dealt with it with class and success. I love this kid.
I also have to give a little shout out to Eddie House as being underappreciated. He doesn't exactly fit the under 10 minutes per game description, but I don't think he gets enough credit for what he does for this team. Is there a player in the league who gets his shot off quicker? I don't think so. And, those shots go in! He is shooting 44% from beyond the arc. I can't count the games this season where the Celtics were behind and playing sluggishly and Eddie comes in and brings energy and hits a couple of huge 3 pointers and gets the Celtics back into the game.
So, I guess I have one official unsung player in Leon Powe and two unofficial ones in Perk and Eddie House. But on a team with 3 future Hall of Famers who get most of the headlines, it is natural for the team to have several players who play in their shadows. Thanks to With Malice for once again recognizing the "little guys" who play a big role in their teams' successes.
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