The Physicality of Kendrick Perkins

HANG TIME WEST – There is nothing hidden about Kendrick Perkins. He was a first-round draft pick. He won a championship with the Celtics. His 2011 acquisition was widely viewed as one of the final moves to the Thunder becoming title contenders.

But Perkins plays on the same team with a pair of stars who dominate the spotlight, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, and James Harden is on a path to a similar level. Perkins isn’t even the most acclaimed of the Oklahoma City big men – power forward Serge Ibaka led the league in blocks despite playing  just 27.2 minutes a game and finished second to Tyson Chandler of the Knicks for Defensive Player of the Year. There is a certain anonymity to the Thunder’s starting center.

Not to Mike Brown, though. The Lakers coach exited the playoffs with nothing short of raves after Perkins and the Thunder finished off Los Angeles on Monday to advance to the Western Conference against the Spurs, opening Sunday in San Antonio.

“One of the things, in my opinion, that kind of goes unnoticed is they get a toughness, a physicalityness, from having Kendrick Perkins,” Brown said. “You do look at a Westbrook and you do look at Durant and Ibaka’s ability to block shots and Harden coming off the bench. But to me, this is a completely different team if you take Perk out of the equation.

“He’s almost like the heart and soul, and he does a great job of bringing it for as long as he’s on the floor, especially down the stretch. They feed off of that. That’s what makes them, in my opinion, a playoff team.”

Is Perkins the best post defender in the NBA?

“I would have to think about it,” Brown said. “But if he’s not the best, he’s got to be one of the top three. He’s a big guy and if you look at him, you think that he might be slow, but he’s got great feet. He’s got great toughness, not only physically with his strength but also mentally. One possession, he’ll start behind, he’ll push you out, he’ll go in front, he’ll go back behind when the ball moves, he’ll front again, and then he’ll get back in front just to box you out or he’ll root you out. We call that kind of stuff multiple effort. He gives it on every single flipping possession. It’s stuff that doesn’t show up in the stat sheet, but it’s very effective for this team.”

There was one important development that did show up on the stat sheet.  Perkins went from straining a hip muscle and playing eight minutes in the first-round finale against the Mavericks to aggravating the injury and lasting 17 minutes in the opener of the second round to what now finally appears to be the full recovery of 32, 31, 32 and 33 minutes the last four contests. That’s a lot of physicality.


  1. W/E says:

    Perk is garbage, he cant play bball

  2. Yave says:

    Tim Duncan basically was guarded by rookies in RD1 and RD2.Now he finally has a challenge with Perkins guarding him.So does Tony Parker with Russel Westbrook on him.Not to forget San Antonio doesn’t anyone to defend Kevin Durant.OKC is going to win in 6 or 7 games becuz Durant going to average like 30 points a game.

    • Sam says:

      Kawhi Leonard.

      • QuestionMark says:

        Leonard is a rookie and not as good a defender as MWP is, if KD scored 30 on him EFFICIENTLY, then Leonard won’t make much of a difference, the Spurs have to play defense collectively if they want to stop Westbrook, Harden and Durant, if they go one on one defense, expect some OKC domination.

  3. Jernej says:

    expect an awesome hack-a-Perk.

  4. marlon green says:

    Perkins will be a solid defender always but dont start expecting to completely shut down Duncan. Sure he will play him tough but Duncan will still be a factor no matter what. And you folks need to stop with that retarded thought of trading for howard. OKC has the right chemistry and Dwight wont make that much more of a difference.

  5. PhilippineEagle says:

    Perkins is good but he’s not a great defender. Tanginanyo!

  6. OldSkool says:


  7. berkamore says:

    MIke Brown knows defense and he’s right about Perkins. The guy is an unbelievable post defender. Matter of fact, if he hadn’t been injured (thank you Kobe, LOL) in the 2010 NBA Finals, the Celtics would have probably won. It will be great to see him to toe to toe with Duncan, I just can’t wait. It will be like a chess game.

  8. OMG Deja Vu says:

    These comments are quite intriguing indeed!

  9. Jojo says:

    He’s already a nightmare to D12. Good luck to Tim Duncan and the other San Antonio bigs.

  10. K2 says:

    wasnt perkins MOZGOVED by blake griffin?

  11. uptmonsta says:

    Perkins fouls more than any other single player in NBA history and gets away with it. If they allow him to play Duncan like he played Bynum (you know both arms wrapped around him while he’s attempting a move) OKC might sweep.

  12. uptmonsta says:

    Perkins fouls more than any single player I’ve ever seen in NBA history and gets away with it. If they allow him to play Duncan like they allowed him to play Bynum (you know both arms wrapped around him while he’s getting into his move) OKC might sweep. The loss of weight served him well, but he plays the same way. His approach is “if you foul every play, no way they can call all of them”. Its worked thus far.

  13. Ricks says:

    #Iamaceltic We love and miss Perkins but the reason he was traded is because he didnt sign a contract for 20 Million which is all Ainge could offer him with the Big 4…with OKC he got 33 Million which was what he was worth and worked out better for Perk

  14. wayne says:

    Spurs are not dependent on a low post game. Infact its a small part of their offense. Perk won’t have anyone to push around. If he comes out, even old man Duncan has the foot speed to go past him

  15. AYO says:

    spurs-okc matchup will be an interesting series!!!!!!

  16. LAKERS 4EVA!! says:

    LOL at all the Boston fans that ALWAYS bring up the arguement that “we would have won in 2010 if Perkins wasn’t injured”. Injuries are part of the game, so don’t use them as an excuse! The Lakers lost in 2008 vs Boston with an injured Bynum, and they didn’t cry that they only lost due to injury, they just got better personnel, got better as a team, and came back to win back-to-back championships!

    And another LOL to all the Mike Brown haters out there. He’s a good coach. He has the respect of the players. But honestly, a guy with a cattle prod couldn’t get Gasol to be motivated this season, and the way management seems to idolise the ground Bynum walks on made it difficult for him to stem Bynum’s ego this past season. At least in previous years, Phil Jackson had the luxury of benching Bynum, moving Gasol to the centre, and Odom at forward…

    Anyway, strictly talking Thunder vs Spurs, its gonna be a great series. Spurs in 6 or 7…

    • berkamore says:

      Well, the Lakers got torched in 2011 and 2012 and they were not injured, so what’ your excuse? Lamar Odom was distracted, David Stern wouldn’t let CP3 come to LA or the Lakers are waiting for Dwight? ROFL.

      But I agree with you on one thing. Mike Brown is actually a decent coach, not PJ’s caliber but not terrible either.

    • SteveNash2012 says:

      Though your username makes it a hard to take you seriously, you make a very thoughtful and well-educated post, one that is hard to find on these forums nowadays

      But you overlook one thing. In 2008, the Lakers already had one big 7-footer in Pau Gasol who, at the time, was playing phenomenal basketball. In addition, Bynum wasn’t as dominant as he is today, so his absense did not make too much of a difference for the Lakers in the postseason
      The Celtics, on the other hand, had no big man presense other than Perkins. HIS absense left the Celtics unable to provide a counter for Pau, leaving him to do as he pleased in the paint in 2010

  17. Patata says:

    i hat danny ainge for trading perkins. its gonna be something that i would never ever understand. i love you and i miss you so much perkk!!!

  18. killuabest says:

    mike brown should be under perkins jersey not in lakers position whatsoever…mike brown go back where you came from…lousy coach…

  19. Oh ooooh ooo I gotta Feeeeeelllliiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnngggg, it’s gonna be a goood thundering!
    The underdoooog Thunder is gonna be wiiiiiinnnnnniiiiiinnnnnnggggg! Believe it!

  20. I think Perkins is going to have a tough time staying on the court in this series. I envision early and often foul trouble in his future.

    Check out our detailed series preview/breakdown:

  21. Tim says:

    I see Perkins hampered with early and often foul trouble in this series. He is going to have a tough time staying on the court.

    Check out our detailed series breakdown/preview:

  22. BOR says:

    I miss seeing Perk in the green…

  23. Where's Perk? says:

    Agreed. Aigne, what happened? You trade the guy who would have stifled the Lakers in game seven two years ago?

  24. Perkins is always in gorilla mode. Just look at his face. KiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnG KoooooonnnnnG. Lmfaoo

  25. spelkey55 says:

    As a life long Celtics fan I wanted to take a trip to Boston just to put my foot up the rear of Danny Ainge for trading Perk. He and Rondo were the beginning of Bostons new team after the soon coming exit of the big three Pierce, KG and Allen. Plus when the Celtics did win the championship Perk was a MAJOR PLAYER! He’s not the kind of guy you can score on easily. He keeps the opposition thinking he’s going to converge on them and it’s not going to feel good. You’ve watched the Celtics without him in the lineup. No one can tell me they don’t miss the kind of play he brought to the team. Ainge you messed up BIG TIME!

    • Chupacabra says:

      or maybe they were simply unlucky, with green and their old big men getting injured every year. If they had missed some of these injuries (wallace, shaq, perkins, j. o’neal) the discussion might have been on a different basis. I think it was probably a good risk to take, it simply didnt pay off. c’est la vie.

    • Dakilang Lumpo says:

      As far as I can remember Perk’s contract was the issue and salary cap. They would prefer perk to stay but his a financial liability which weighs more than his talent. This brought him to OKC. Celtics were happy with Green until he got injured. LOL

    • MackDaddy says:


      they should never have let Perk go.

      quality big men in the NBA that play BIG are so rare thse days. they all want to be shooting forwards and ultra lean.

      I hope Perk goes all the way with OKC… he deserves it. Blue collar hard working big man that gets the job done.

  26. W/E says:

    I would trade Ibaka and perkins for D12 and OKC would be one of the most terrifiyng teams in the history of NBA, damn it would be friggin awesome

    • QuestionMark says:

      No thank you, Dwight is amazingly good, but we have two great post defenders, and a shotblocker better than Howard, I wouldn’t give that up for one great post defender, plus with KD and Westbrook, Howard won’t score.

    • gergerger says:

      As if the magic will agree with that deal…duh

  27. W/E says:

    Perk is so clumsy on both ends of the court hes painfull to watch,the only thing he can do is push ppl away from the basket and foul hard, nothing more

    • rob says:

      You are actually watching the games!!! Good post

    • dattebayo says:

      Well, he also looks the ref down in disbelief at every single foulcall against him and gives the ref his scowl. Like he never fouls any one…

  28. allaroundballer says:

    good article

  29. ChocolateThunder says:

    We love you Perk