CLEVELAND — Cavaliers power forward Leon Powe started tapping each knee as he counted his major surgeries. He reached four, but wouldn’t swear to it.
“I had so much anesthesia, I might have had one more,” he joked Wednesday prior to a game against the Detroit Pistons at Quicken Loans Arena. “I woke up and said, ‘What’s this scar?’”
Out since Jan. 7 due to a torn right meniscus, Powe went through a full practice Tuesday and plans on taking part in another today, with the hope of returning to action Friday against the Los Angeles Clippers.
“This one’s better than I thought,” he said of his most recent injury, which was expected to sideline him for six weeks. “I thought it was going to be a little harder (to come back).”
When Powe is ready to go, there’s no guarantee he’ll be in the rotation, as the fifth-year pro has appeared in just 14 games this season.
Still, Powe is eager to come back to try to help the Cavs, who lost their 26th straight game Wednesday.
“I know something about losing streaks. I had one in Boston,” said Powe, a member of a Celtics team that dropped 18 straight in 2006-07, the season before Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen arrived. “It’s tough when you can’t play. You just want the best for your teammates and team.”
The Celtics ended their skid against Portland, the same team the Cavs almost beat Saturday.
“We were jumping up and down in the locker room,” Powe said. “We had a long West Coast trip coming up. There was nothing pretty gonna happen on that. If we didn’t win that game, it was going to be a long trip.”
Powe likes the progress the Cavs have made in recent games, even those they lost in the closing moments.
“It still comes down to the last two or three minutes,” he said. “Sometimes we rush stuff. We haven’t had a win in so long, sometimes we get too excited.”
Byron Scott said he doesn’t regret taking the Cavs’ head coaching position and never will.
“I never second guess myself,” he said. “I don’t live in the past. I took the job because it was a good job. It’s a top-notch organization.”
LeBron James announced he was leaving for Miami soon after Scott was hired, but the 49-year-old remains positive and optimistic. At the same time, Scott has received some words of encouragement from friends around the league.
“I don’t need the sympathy,” he said. “It is good to hear the voice, but I don’t need the sympathy. It’s all the same: ‘Hang in there.’ But I’m going to do that anyway.”
When a reporter started to ask about Jamario Moon’s emergence from Scott’s doghouse, the coach interrupted, saying he has no doghouse.
“That’s not a doghouse,” he said of Moon or anyone else not playing. “That means they weren’t playing worth a damn.”
Wednesday began a stretch of eight straight home games for the Cavs. Included is a Sunday game against the Washington Wizards, who are 0-25 on the road.
“Something has to give in that game where they play the Wizards,” James told the Miami Herald. “I think that should be a nationally televised game right there, honestly.”
- Like Powe, Mo Williams went through a full practice Tuesday and is close to returning from a hip flexor strain. Scott wouldn’t come out and say Williams would assume the starting point guard role when he’s 100 percent, but hinted he would.
- A crew from ESPN and a columnist from Sports Illustrated were at Wednesday’s game. The Cavs began the night one loss shy of tying the 1976-77 Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ American pro sports record of 26 straight defeats.
Contact Rick Noland at (330) 721-4061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.