About Last Night: Perk’s Return

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – When the list of the NBA’s most valuable players is discussed, you will never hear the name Kendrick Perkins involved.

But if you watched the 2010 NBA Finals, from start to finish, you know that Perkins not being able to play in Game 7 was as big a factor in the Lakers’ defeating the Celtics as anything. Perkins went down in Game 6 with a right knee injury that required “reconstructive” surgery. Without him, the Celtics’ lacked that interior toughness to grind out Game 7 at the Staples Center.

So now you know what all the fanfare was about in Boston last night, when the Celtics’ rugged center made his return after a seven month layoff to recover from his surgery. The Celtics found out just how crucial Perkins was to their mix when they lost him. And now that they have him back, the optimism in Boston is wicked thick, and rightfully so.

The venerable Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe captured the essence of Perk’s return last night:

He entered to a 25-second standing ovation. “I tried not to be too emotional and stay focused,’’ he said.

The Standing O didn’t surprise anyone.

“There’s people in the crowd that work hard every day, blue collar, and Perk identifies with those people,’’ said [Celtics coach Doc] Rivers. “If you’re a guy that works 9 to 5, you’ve got to love Perk because that’s who he is.’’

“He is always the guy that has been the hard-hat, lunch-bucket worker on the team,’’ added forward Ray Allen.

His presence was far more than ceremonial. He played 17 minutes, putting up a 7-point, 6-rebound, 3-assist line. He only committed two fouls in those 17 minutes, and, miracle of miracles, neither one was on a high pick.

“I thought he was terrific,’’ said Rivers. “I thought as the game went on his timing got better. I thought defensively he was terrific from the start. Just communication, we were loud again defensively, which was nice. You could hear him and Kevin [Garnett] barking orders defensively, and that makes us really good.’’

Championship “good” to be exact.

The difference between the Lakers and Celtics in the Finals was razor-thin. Lakers center Andrew Bynum was playing on an injured knee as well. But the Lakers had more up front than the Celtics did when it mattered most, at the end.

The Celtics solved that issue in the offseason, adding Shaquille O’Neal, Jermaine O’Neal and Semih Erden. But getting Perkins back takes them completely over the top in that respect.

34 Comments

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  8. jr dacillo says:

    putang ina nyong lakers.. nanay ni kobe pokpok

  9. OB 57 says:

    People always trying to know more than analysts, who dedicate their life to analize the sport. What a coincidence, with Perkins on the floor, Celtics up 3-2. Perk gets injured, they lose game 6 and 7, with the final game being decided by 4 points and a 53-40 rebound edge for the Lakers. Stats don’t lie people! If you doubt how important Perk is for the Celtics, ask Dwight Howard who’s the best one on one defender against him…

  10. boooyooo says:

    you guys are stupid. ofcourse it would have been a lot different if perkins played at the gm.7 finals. but it is what it is. you’ll just never know that!

  11. Mr Sensible says:

    @Sekou Smith

    Dear Sekou. As a die hard fan of your blogs I am dying to see a blog from you with Andrew Bynum as the main topic.
    No dissrespect to Kendrick Perkins, but their best chance of beating the Lakers is with Shaq at the helm. If anybody dissects
    the 2010 finals, they will see that Andrew Bynum not only OUTPLAYED Kendrick Perkins, but the Lakers also OUTREBOUNDED the Celtics as well. Having said all that, I think Andrew Bynums injury in 08 is the only reason why Boston’s Big 3 has a championship….before Gasol was aquired in 08, the last 15 games before Bynums injury he averaged over 25 and 10 including a 40 point game…That year was his breakout year. Before the injury in 09 he had a string of 20 and 11 games (I cant remember how many games right now) and was really starting to mould well with Pau Gasol, fortunately he came back, and they blew out a Magic team that has the most dominant “Big Man” in the game. (Ask LeBron James) Last year was a similar story, he came back, and the EXACT same Boston team as 08 matched up against the Lakers and it was clear from the jump-ball in game one why Boston looked so dominant in 08…no ANDREW BYNUM! So as mutch credit as Kendrick gets, maybe we should look at his counterpart Andrew Bynum, because Andrew’s development is what has solidified Lakers as a championship team (09 and 2010) and not just a contender…. (2008) Oh…one more thing Sekou, lets be honest…..The Boston Celtics didnt bring in Shaq because they needed a suitable backup to give Kendrick a breather, they simply were not confident that even with a healthy lineup they can over-power a Andrew Bynum led Frontcourt…..and thats why they signed Shaq instead of a…hmmm….Dj Mbenga or a big body who would not mind sitting in a game 7….Andrew Bynum is the Unsung hero in the Lakers road to a three-peat.

    • Pete says:

      Umm…actually they DID sign Shaq and Jermain Oneal because they know that Perkins would be out for potentially half the season, if not even longer.

      Also they would not have known if he would have been back in shape again in time for the playoffs in the event that they had any setbacks to his recovery.

      If they didn’t sign Shaq and Jermaine the would have gone through the first half of the NBA season with either an inexperienced rookie (Semih Erden) or an undersized forward (Big Baby) starting at centre.

      Especially given the question marks over KG’s health (prior to this season starting) it was especially important for them to ensure they had as much depth as possible at Centre.

      Shaq and Jermain were brought in right from the start to come of the bench and back up Perkins, not to take his place in the starting lineup. When Perkins is healthy, I can guarantee you Shaq will be playing 15-20 minutes off the bench at the most.

      The biggest strength they get from Shaq is the ability to get a very strong inside presence off the bench to lead their second unit – and once you add Shaq to Big Baby, Marquis Daniels, Delonte West and Nate Robinson you have quite possibly the best second unit in the league.

      If you think Shaq was hired because Doc wasn’t confident in Perkin’s abilities, you couldn’t be more wrong.

    • Melanie says:

      Mr Sensible (lil bit of an oxymoron here)
      You’re kidding, right? A write-up on Bynum? Why? I don’t even remember what the kid looks like, let alone seen him play regularly. The poor kid is injury riddled and the Lakers will have to come up with a Plan B at center eventually. He is too injury prone to be counted on. How many times are you gonna say “Wait till Bynum gets back.”
      ****BTW-I think Perkins injury in 2010 is the only reason the Lakers won a championship. :)

  12. Beantown baller! says:

    Well ill admit lakers won game 7, after coming back from a deficit. Now imagine perkins playin with the deficit gasol never would have gotten as many chances as he had. And now the have shaq,jermaine, and erdin. The lakers are a good team but the celtics are playing much better this year, especially with kg back in buisness rondos learned and perkins can take more breathers during playoff/finals. It’s not looking good for la its gonna be some good games if they meet in the finals but i think celtics got it this year.

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  17. Stereoview says:

    Don’t underestimate Perk. It’s his toughness and team play that is important. Perk can score in bunches when called upon. It’s just not that often. Note that he shoots one of the highest FG percentages in the league. When Dwight Howard was asked who the toughest center is to play against he said it was Kendrick Perkins. Say what you want but that’s quite a compliment to his talent. He will get back to form and Boston will have the best center combination in the league. Jermaine O’Neal is superfluous now. Not needed at all. Put him on the injured list and trade him at the soonest opportunity.

  18. zeemsta says:

    Perk is a top 5 center in the league. And Perkins is a much better defender than Bynum.

    • think before u type? says:

      are u retarded?perk a top 5…..typical bandwagon fan, i can name 15 centers better than perk…..he brings what every center SHOULD bring, toughness, mentality, n nose for the ball. however he IS NOT a top 5 center

  19. Yafa says:

    Perkins is not all-star because of his duty in Celtics team. He doesn’t need to score, he is a defensive expert. And even if he aint _that_ good individual, he is still important for the team and that left a big hole in Celtics’ defense. Lakers’ defense isn’t built around Bynum (well, so isn’t it around Perk in C, as much as KG, but them playing together is the root of C’s defense), so Lakers without Bynum isn’t that well comparable to Celtics without Perkins.

    • Beantown baller! says:

      I definetly agree with you, But hopefully doc rivers will be able to make a defense nwo that he has bigs to rotate between shaq and perk they can both foul alot ” which they are known for” and not worrie b.c jermain “if he can stay healthy” and erdin can play some good mins.

  20. superman says:

    kenfrick perkins is 6 10 and andrew bynum is over 7 feet tall. andrew bynum is an allstar and is still around 24 years old. kendrick perkins is in his prime and wont get any better than he is now. so if perk misses out on a couple games its not a big deal for the celtics and it shouldnt be an excuse for them to lose the finals to the lakers because think about it kobe bryant had a broken finger, broken back a bunch of knee problems etc. when u compare drew and perk bynum obviously takes the edge because he is simply a better player

    • Melanie says:

      @superman
      It really doesn’t matter if Bynum is better……….HE’S NEVER ON THE FLOOR!

    • Pete says:

      Not necessarilly true.

      Bynum and Perk are different players. Bynum plays a different role on LA – he a more key role on his team and is a 3rd or 4th option offensively (after Kobe, Gasol and MAYBE Artest), wheras Perkins is clearly the last scoring option in the Boston offense.

      Perkins is underrated offensively – he doesn’t score big numbers, but he actually has some good post moves and is a very high percentage scorer once he catches the ball in the ball inside. He’s not the type of player who can create his own shot on offense really, but if he gets the ball in a position to score he is almost unstoppable.

      As a rebounder Perkins is on par with Bynum, and he is far superior to Bynum as a one-on-one post defender. Perkins is one of the very few players in the NBA who can legitimately defend guys like Shaq and Dwight Howard with single coverage. He may not stuff the stat sheet with steals and blocks, but his defensive presence inside affects the opposition in ways the scoreboard doesn’t reflect.

      Bynum is a superior stat-sheet player if you look at pure box-score statistics. When you consider the intangibles such as hustle and the impact a player has on their team, Perkins is in every way as valuable to Boston as Bynum is to LA.

  21. Derriso says:

    The thing I dont get is why people always bring up last years finals when perkins got hurt but never bring up 08 when bynum miss out on the finals and what a big impact that was its not like the lakers have never beat the celtics with perkins in the lineup I dont think they win game 7 against the lakers unless the game is in boston and remember after the 08 lost the lakers beat boston 3 or 4 times in a row with perkins playing because perkins is not a better than bynum

    • maldoc says:

      Who cares about Bynum. LOL

    • No Excuses says:

      The difference is easy if you watched the series. Everyone saw how the celtics were the better team last year in the playoffs when Perk was playing. Then Perk goes down and the lakers barely win…

      No one knows how well the lakers wouldve done in 08 with Bynum playing. He never did play at any part of the series or even the playoffs.

      • nba fan says:

        WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?! ( WELL OF COURSE THE LAKERS WON THE FINALS) BUT CLEARLY NO TEAM WAS THE BETTER TEAM IN THE 2010 FINALS. BOTH TEAMS WERE EVENLY MATCHED.THAT SERIES WENT BACK AND FORTH. THERE WERE NO BLOWOUTS WINS (EXCEPT GAME 6,) AND EVERY OTHER GAME WAS CLOSE. IN THAT SERIES YOU HAD KOBE VS RAY, PAUL VS ARTEST, KG VS PG, BYNUM VS PERKINS. THEN OFF THE BENCH YOU HAD BIG BABY VS ODOM, NATE VS SHANNON AND FARMAR VS RONDO BOTH TEAMS WERE EVEN. AND THEY ARE EVEN NOW. BOTH TEAMS HAVE BENCHES AND MULTIPLE BIGS OVER 6″10″ (LOOK AT THEIR ROSTER IF YOU DON’T BELIEVE ME.)

  22. Wait a minute says:

    SUNDAY! SUNDAY! SUNDAY!