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Johnny Ludden of Yahoo! Sports writes an article today about Kendrick Perkins and the element he brings to the Thunder -- toughness. It's something he Celtics are lacking right now and it's arguably been what's hurt them the most in the last month. Ludden recapped a bit of the Thunder's 120-106 win over the Celtics' biggest rivals, the LA Lakers, and I have to say I felt like I was reading about an ex-girlfriend with another man.

He’d gone toe-to-toe with Kobe Bryant, wrapping him up in a screen then shoving him away after Bryant jawed at him. He’d pushed Andrew Bynum then stood his ground after Bynum threw the ball into his chest. He’d nearly caught Ron Artest with a flailing elbow after Artest had almost done the same to him.

Even though Perkins is wearing blue and orange now, it seems like he still bleeds green. He hasn't been bashful about his deep seeded hate of the Lakers or Miami Heat

“He brings toughness, he brings physical play and he doesn’t like his opponent,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “It’s old-school basketball. He doesn’t like who he plays against, and I like that mentality.”

In just 15 games with Oklahoma City, Perkins has already picked up seven technicals, including one he received against the Lakers. He twice scuffled with Denver Nuggets center Nene in a pair of recent games, and his imprint on the Thunder’s victory over the Lakers was noticeable in spite of his modest stat line: two points, five rebounds, two assists, one block.

I've really resisted blaming the trade for the Celtics struggles but reading everything about the new look Thunder and watching them play with Perk really makes me jealous that they have him. That's probably not a good sign when the Celtics are the one who traded him away. In the article Kobe calls Perk the best low-post defender in the game, which definitely made my stomach churn a bit, and then there's this part:


As they lined up along the lane for a free throw in the closing seconds, Kobe glared at Perkins and sniffed, “You happy with this?”

Perkins stared back. Yes, he told Bryant. We’re happy. We’re happy with every win, he said. Why shouldn’t we be happy?

“Kobe being Kobe,” Perkins said some 30 minutes after the game. He still wore a scowl as he sat in front of his locker. Maybe it’s the old Celtic in him, but there’s something about these Lakers he doesn’t like.

Be yourself, the Thunder said. Perk doesn’t know any other way.

I think I know what the Celtics are missing, and he's wearing a different uniform now.

Mike Saver 4/11/2011 03:37:00 PM Edit
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15 Responses so far.

  1. Anonymous says:

    That should be posted on Every Celtics message board on the internet. For the all the people who think we ripped off OKC for Jeff Green

  2. Imran says:

    This doesn't make me want to blame the trade for our struggles. You're right though, I am sooo jealous

  3. Soy Orbison says:

    Looks like OKC got the "best player in the trade."

    It sure isn't Softy Green. And enough with the "adjustment period" excuses. Plenty of players come to a new club and make an impact right away. If he plays with the starters, people say he's trying to fit in. If he plays with the bench, people say he's used to starting.

    He has had plenty of opportunities to put his stamp on the team in games where everybody else is struggling and nobody would fault him for looking for his offense. Or doing anything else on the court that would give the team a spark.

    He has no go-to move other than that running jump-hook thing on the block, rebounds like he's 6-4 and is a below-average defender at both the 3 and the 4.

    Other than that he's been a great pick-up.

  4. Anonymous says:

    this has just made me cry...i miss every1 who was traded it was a good team i dnt hate the new guys but they actually dont knw our game yet..we shdnt blame them my blame goes to danny...he shd have traded this guys if he really wanted to get rid of them after we lost to the lafakers in game 7 last year of after thiz years finals...nkt DANNY

  5. Anonymous says:

    i cant believe no body has picked up on this, but i think that everybody saying 'celtics aren't the same w/out perk' are just trying to get into the Celtics' head, and it seems to be working

  6. JR says:

    I was gonna write a positive article on the Celtics today, but after reading the 2 Perk columns on here today I just can't. Dumbest trade ever by a 1st place team. Right now we lack a starting center, rebounding, toughness, and chemistry. All four problems are directly related to trading Perk (especially while our 400 lb 39 yr old center with foot problems was already on the shelf). The game is more than offensive stats.

  7. Bohemian says:

    Very good article. I miss Perk of course. We lost someone special. I wish the Thunder reach the Finals. Good job, Perk!

  8. glitterchick says:

    I miss my big man. I miss his scowl. I miss his defense. And most of all I miss his heart. Perk was a leader. You don't have to be loud to lead. Perk understood Celtic pride. Danny can make all the excuses he wants. Everyone knows this was a stupid move. Much love to you Perk. You are missed.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Jena said:I was outraged! I knew it was mistake. What the heck were they thinking? I know, Shaq was going to be there to handle it. Well look what we have now. No big man to bump with the other bigs. Hell I watched Duncan have his way with BigBaby when we played them. Yes we won but Duncan backed him down everytime. Perkins it would not have happened. Huge mistake that will cost us.

  10. ThomasJ says:

    I didn't realize anyone thought we ripped off OKC for Green. Unbelievable. Must be Danny's family.

  11. C's says:

    Love you Perk.

  12. Anonymous says:

    dont get me wrong i love perk but dont you guys think this is exaggerating a little bit....? he did not played half of the season and we had a great record.! know all of a sudden you think our losing factor is him? come on C's are not playing hard thats all! you think they are gonna risk getting fractures at this point? dont you think they want to rest before playoffs?......all of these games that the C's have lost have been more important to the opposing team...Boston is a veteran team and for you guys that think the seed is that important let me tell you thats very stupid......Last year boston won over cleveland -best record in NBA-...Lakers? Yeah perkins happened.... Its Not The fact that he was not there, its the fact that we did not had a good back-up center..it was an unexpected injury.!

  13. We need to move on. Perk's gone. I wish the guy the best but he's not coming back. We aren't winning the title with Perk this year and no backup SF. He's got a better career ahead of him with the young Thunder team than the Celtics so if you truly want what is best for him be happy for him.

  14. ray ray for 3 says:

    Karl,

    you're trippin. Obviously you don't understand team chemistry. JR said it best above: The game is more than offensive stats.

    As much as we no one wants to admit it...the trade has hurt us to a larger degree. Celtics are 14-12 since we got rid of Perk.

    If we don't make it to the Finals, I REALLY hope the Lakers don't make it. I'll be rooting for Big Perk to take them out.

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