Cleveland Cavaliers forward Leon Powe has yet to play in the first-round playoff series, but he does have experience against the Bulls from last year’s Bulls-Boston Celtics series.
“[The Bulls] have a lot of talent, but they have a lot of fight in them,” Powe told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “They’ve got a motto: Never give up. They always think they’re going to win the game. When you face a team like that, you don’t want them to get any confidence. You’ve got to try to take their confidence early.
“A team like this, you can’t play with them. You’ve got to go there and take the game from them. They just never give up. They keep attacking, keep attacking. That’s what you get with a young talented team. They really don’t know how to win at the end, but they just keep fighting and trying to find a way to get it done.”
Powe suffered a knee injury in Game 2 of the Bulls-Celtics series and had to undergo reconstructive surgery. He got to watch the rest of the seven-game series and was impressed with Bulls point guard Derrick Rose, who was a rookie last year.
“That was [Rose’s] coming out party,” Powe said. “That gave him a tremendous amount of confidence going on down the road. He’s much better now. He’s hitting that mid-range jump shot, and then he’s got that little push-floater shot that he’s knocking down every single time.”
Powe said Bulls center Joakim Noah has improved as well.
“He’s understanding the game more,” Powe said. “He’s making plays, pushing the ball a lot more and just getting into the game. His teammates feed off of that stuff. That’s what he does best. He’s like a mirror image of [Cavs forward] Anderson Varejao. He runs around and causes trouble on both ends.
“But Andy doesn’t like to talk like [Noah] does.”