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One of my favorite Celtics over the past 7 years has been Kendrick Perkins. His teammates have the greatest respect for him and he's referred to as our "defensive anchor." To fans, some love him, but unfortunately too many don't fully appreciate what he brings to the table every night. Too often this past year I had to defend his game to fans fixated on pretty looking offense. They didn't care about his shooting % or his defense, they were simply bothered by his "ugly" game. Honestly I don't care if his game is uglier than Sarah Jessica Parker. So what? He's efficient and he does the dirty work. He looked like a he was going to be all-star this past year until leg problems limited his mobility around the New Year. As the warrior he is he never complained about it.

I remember late in the season I wrote a piece that maybe Perk needed some rest too (KG and Pierce were getting time off.) Lo and behold two days later Perk was put on the shelf for a few days to rest the leg. In the playoffs fans hopefully saw how important Perk was as the Celtics went 15-6 with him in the line-up, but lost all three games which he missed time due either to the bogus ejection against Orlando or his devastating triple knee tear versus the Lakers. This after the previous year's playoffs when even without KG, the Celtics should have advanced to the ECF after being led by Rondo and Perkins who completely stepped up his game in KG's absence. Perkins is probably the most underrated player in the NBA. With that said, we might have seen the last of him in Boston.

I've lamented a few times how Danny wasn't able to parlay TA or Rasheed into trade exceptions. I saw all the other GM's acquiring trade exceptions easier than finding a Metro paper on the T. Unfortunately Danny couldn't pick one up for one reason or another. That essentially now leaves us with two tradeable assets come the trading deadline: Glen Davis and Perkins. Big Baby is another vastly underrated player. For some reason too many fans prefer a big man who blocks a shot viscously out of bounds to a guy who will take a charge. This makes no sense to me as the charge actually causes a change in possession and can put another team or player in foul trouble. Sorry for the tangent, but back to tradeable assets, Baby will have his role entrenched by Winter time. He'll be the only young big we have and do all the dirty work that the elder KG and the O'Neal brothers can't do anymore.

If Perkins is able to come back this year and that is still a pretty big "IF" after the triple tear knee injury, do you see Doc benching either of the O'Neal brothers? He could bench Baby, but that would be a mistake in my opinion. No team plays more than 4 bigs, especially in the playoffs. I think there's a strong possibility that Perkins's expiring contract will be moved.


Danny actually tried to move Perk this past June, but no one bit. Obviously Danny isn't sentimental to Celtics players who get hurt. He kicked Leon Powe to the curb after he tried to play on a bad knee to help the shorthanded Celtics out and blew out his own knee. Would Danny give Perkins a big contract extension next Summer? By doing so he's be investing in an injured knee and with Perk, Rondo, and Pierce all making big money, his plan to have financial flexibility in the Summer of 2012 would be shot. I've seen the Celtics this Summer sign Ray, Nate,  and Jermaine all to 2 year contracts. My guess is Danny gave them more money per year than they wanted in exchange for shorter deals. I'm sure Ray and Jermaine at least could have gotten  3 yr deals elsewhere. So if Danny isn't inclined to give Perkins more than a 2 year deal, I can't see how the Celtics won't be outbid for his services. Miami, to name one potential suitor, will offer Perk the full boat MLE quicker than 'Sheed sprinted to Burger King after hearing about the "BK Buck Double."

This leaves the unfortunate situation of Perk coming back to a too crowded front court and I could see Danny trying to move his 4.6 million dollar expiring deal to another team. Do I want to lose Perk? Obviously not. All I'm trying to say is before you go out and buy a Perkins jersey expecting to see the big man for years to come back in the Garden, just be prepared that he might only play another two dozen or so games for the Celtics and with a limited role. He might never even play another game for the Celtics. I hated to lose Powe and it will be even harder to lose Perk, but I'm not so naive as to not expect it. Lastly not to sound like sour grapes, but I'm 100% sure that if Perkins doesn't go down in Game 6 that not only are we defending NBA champions right now, but we would have beaten the Lakers in Game 7 by more than 20. Probably 25. They were about to fold in the 3rd quarter (Similar to how they folded in Game 6 in 2008). The Lakers just fold during adversity. The only thing that saved them was that we ran out of gas (and all their offensive rebounds in the 1st half due to Perk's absence). With Perk those rebounds don't happen and we have the depth to last those final 16 minutes or so. That damn knee injury had so many negative consequences, one which might mean the last of Perk in green.

JR 8/18/2010 01:44:00 PM Edit
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27 Responses so far.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Game 7 was BS. It was 5 on 8

  2. Anonymous says:

    nice article. you meant due instead of do toward the end.

  3. JR says:

    Anonymous 2. Most definitely. Actually just changed it. Sometimes I get all trigger happy to post and I'm lazy with the proof reading. Wouldn't be surprised if there aren't more mistakes left. lol

  4. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I won't even consider it! Center is a hard position to fill and Perk is one of the top defensive centers in the league. He is a true center and one of only a handful left in the league. The O'Neals are here for 2 years and may very well be injured by the time Perk comes back. Danny needs to keep Perk or he will be very sorry he didn't when we can't get past Orlando and whatever team Perk is on.

  5. JR says:

    Yeah I thought of you FL as I wrote this. I know you're right there with me in terms of being Perk supporters. Maybe even more. I just started adding 2 and 2 together, especially with Danny's plans to have cap room in 2012 and unfortunately I could see a sad divorce on the horizon.

    You have a lot of clout as the "1st Lady of Celtics Nation." You should start sending Wyc and Danny letters telling them to keep Perk. Like I wrote earlier, based on Danny's comments on Larry and Kevin years ago and how he treated Powe, I don't think he has the loyalty that Red had, so just be prepared.

  6. Darnell Valentine says:

    Entertaining

  7. Dean Garrett says:

    Informative

  8. Anonymous says:

    I think he wants to stay but the reason why all the vets on the team have huge short contracts is cause they want another run in the playoffs before rebuilding and i'd be surprised if Perk left cause hes missing like 60 games lives in boston and is loyal

  9. Anonymous says:

    nice article
    totally agree with you about the playoff in game 7
    lakers had most of the off.rebound coz perk was injured
    and when the camera shows perk face, it looks like he was dying to play
    2009-2010 was the celtics year until perks injured his knee :(

  10. ronit says:

    I know how how much perk is important to C's because of the game 7 loss and did u guys see #1 fakers kobe trip perk in game 6 man the black mama pisses me off everytime i see his face

  11. Jenda says:

    I don't see both O'Neals healthy and performing by the time Perk comes back. Perhaps I'm a glass half full guy but I don't think Danny is dumb enough to move Perk now. He surely knows neither O'Neal is to be counted on.

  12. JR says:

    Jenda, you said "I don't see both O'Neals healthy and performing by the time Perk comes back." I don't think that's a glass half full statement. lol.

    Maybe I'm being optimistic on Jermaine, but i think he's going to have a pretty good year. He's never played with a big the quality of KG, so that should help.

    Regarding Shaq, I fear that he won't be as successful. There's a reason why the Cavs scored about a half dozen less points per 100 possessions with him on the court. And his defensive shortcomings are pretty well known. Rondo has even said how he might cause problems in the locker room. No wonder the Celtics preferred Kwame Freakin' Brown.

    Truth be told, when Perk comes back, I'd make Shaq the 5th big, which would basically mean he only plays if one of the first 4 gets injured. He would probably cause a stink and I'd simply cut him.

    I'd much prefer Rasheed to Shaq (and you know I wasn't the biggest TLC fan. lol) At least with 'Sheed you could count on him to play solid team defense. Plus he was legitimately funny. Shaq's jokes aren't even funny to me.

  13. Jenda says:

    You're probably right. It wouldn't surprise me much if it was the other way 'round, though. Plus Shaq's press conference speech left the impression of Doc explaining his position after Perk's return clearly. Something like "You're here for the ring and when Perk comes back the only thing we want from you is sit down, shut the Kazaam up and wait 'till we get you the ring. Or perhaps play a few minutes when the corpse of Jermaine stinks too bad."

  14. As Doc points out very often, the Celtics starting 5 with Perk, Rondo, PP, KG and RA have never lost a playoff series. Once Perk is back, he will be in the starting lineup by the playoffs.

  15. Anonymous says:

    wow. If Danny does this it would be most disappointing. Perkins is a very important piece in the Boston puzzle. And unless we somehow bring back a 25 year old bill Russell, there's no replacing him lol.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Nice article. I concur with just about everything - assessments about Perkins' value, BBD's value, etc. etc. - except that I think you are misreading Danny.

    Danny is fully aware of the value of a true defensive center and of how rare guys of Perk's quality are in the league. Hell, this summer should have taught that lesson well to all. Danny is clearly setting things up to do a rebuilding post-2012, but I expect that will almost certainly include Perk. Of all the pieces to a championship team, the PG and the C are the hardest pieces to find. No way does Danny casually let one of those two pieces slip away when he has the chance to have them both locked up cheap.

    Think about it - Danny is in a good negotiating spot to extend Perk to a long contract at below market due to the injury. Perk's agent, of course, will want to delay those negotiations until Perk is playing again in order to build leverage on their side. But I doubt Perk will end up costing a huge slab of beef to sign.

    The fact that Perk is Rondo's best friend also will carry more than a little weight.

    The *only* chance I see that Danny would trade Perk away is if Semih Erden suddenly had a breakout and became that legitimate, championship-quality defensive C that Perk already is, thus allowing DA the luxury of trading Perk. But those guys (even Perk) usually take a few years to develop. So I just don't think that is going to happen.

    -mmmmm (from CelticsBlog)

  17. Anonymous says:

    Great post and conversation. The parallel to Powe is right on point. Danny doesn't take risks on players after serious injuries. There's just no way to know what kind of player Perk will be when he comes back. Still, I'd keep him. Both O'Neals are very injury prone. It might end up being center by committee next year.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I like Perk a lot but let's not get carried away here. He's VERY good at keeping the other team's center from backing down into the low post. He's a decent shot blocker. He is NOT a great rebounder and his offense is atrocious. He waits way too long to go to the basket after getting a pass, as if he's waiting for the defense to set up around him before attempting his shot. His hands are lousy. I hope they keep him because I'd much rather have him than a more skilled center that gets pushed around. Just tired of the fact that since his injury everyone is making him out to be Bill Russell.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Perk posted a 24.4% defensive rebounding percentage this last year. That puts him up in the elite class of rebounders in the league. And that is while having to share rebounds with KG (who grabbed 24.8% of all defensive rebound chances). Basically half of all defensive rebounding chances fell into the hands of one of those two guys. Any talk that Perkins is "not a great rebounder" is completely wrong.

  20. Anonymous says:

    This just made me really, really depressed.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Nobody is trading anybody in the NBA with an ACL tear. Nobody.

    This is pure conjecture with no basis in reality. Except the part where we'd be champs if he was healthy. That's true.

  22. Anonymous says:

    nice article perk really is the best defensive center in the league and he does do all the dirty work for our stars he deserves more appreciation and respect from the Boston fans

  23. Luis Martinez says:

    All I can say is that I hate the lakers with a f&^king passion! I live in LA. I have to deal with these retards on a daily basis. I can't go through a day without being reminded of game 7 and now I have to see pictures of Perk going down in game 6? To make matters worse, there's a picture of ron artest in Paul Pierce's face on the main page. I can't stand how that mentally ill son of a bitch is celebrated here in LA. I really hope I can out live some of those a-hole lakers so that I could urinate on their tombstones! Just thought I'd share that with all of you...

  24. Anonymous says:

    I am sorry but your analysis of Game 7 is utter nonsense.. If I remember correctly, Rasheed Wallace was providing very good offensive production with all those bank shots which Perkins can't make in a thousand years and also was your best Pau Gasol defender.. Don't act as if Rasheed Wallace, filling in for Perkins was crap, if anything he was your best player in Game 7.. Only 1 team got blown out in the finals and it was your green team in Game 6 (before and after Perkins went down, it was a beat down).. Your team folded in Game 7, not the Lakers.. If they were mentally soft like you say, they would have actually folded in the face of adversity.. Back to back champions, thanks.. Matter of fact, let me say this.. IF ANDREW BYNUM WAS ALSO 100% HEALTHY IN THE FINALS, IT WON'T HAVE GOTTEN TO A GAME 7.. The Lakers would have most definitely won Game 5 in the garden, Big Baby scored at will and got a ton of offensive boards on Lamar Odom, that doesn't happen with Bynum playing.. Cheers

  25. JR says:

    Last anonymous, sorry to inform you, but this isn't a Lakers blog. I can recommend a few for you:

    www.losangelesdoesn'thave16titles5belongtominneapolis.com
    or
    www.ourbesttwoplayersarearapistandallama.com

  26. Anonymous says:

    JR, thanks for your super informative post! I got a lot of good information from the 2 websites you recommended.. On the 2nd website, I learnt that OUR BEST PLAYER HAS THE SAME AMOUNT OF RINGS AS YOUR STARTING 5 COMBINED..

    I am sorry, but its about the LAKERS and not LOS ANGELES.. I don't care what team's blog it is, if I see false info about my team, I respond wherever. Cheers!

  27. tb727 says:

    Hey last Anonymous, also realize your best player rode the coattails of the Celtics' 8th best player this year, for 3 of those titles ;)

    Oh yeah and last I counted 17 is more than 16 so piss off

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