Random Thoughts as Perk Wants to Run

PAINFUL WAIT: Celtics center Kendrick...I love Perk.  Anyone who knows me even in passing knows that.   I am one of the few Celtics fans who was on Perk's bandwagon way back in his rookie season.  I listened to what he said and realized that he was a humble and honest kid who was anxious to do whatever it took to succeed in the league.  I saw the work he was putting in to transform his body from a pudgy high schooler into an NBA behemoth.  He won me over and I've been one of his biggest fans ever since.   It broke my heart to see him go down in game 6 last season.  Yes, it really hurt the Celtics chances to win the title, but also, Perk has worked so hard to get to where he is and for that to happen just before a contract year, it was just so wrong. 

It's going to be really hard to keep Perk off the court this season.  He wants to play.  He works so hard.  Today's Herald checks in with him and reveals that he is feeling really good.
Perkins, still recovering from surgery to repair shredded ligaments in his right knee, was feeling good yesterday. Feeling good, and feeling bored. Feeling so good, in fact, and so bored, that he told Lacerte he was in the mood to do some sprinting up and down the court.
As Perk would later explain the exchange, “Ed Lacerte said to me, ‘You probably can sprint down the court, but you’ve got to be smart about everything.’"
Perk is one of the hardest workers in the league.  He is also one of the top defensive centers in the league.  Without Perk's ability to guard Dwight Howard 1 on 1,  Celtics don't get past the Magic.  It was Perk's defense that made Jermaine O'Neal disappear in the playoffs last season.   Yes, we now have depth at the center position with Shaq, JO, and Semih,  but none of them is the defensive wall that Perk is.  But as Perk puts it:
“OK, listen,” he said, “I’m going to put it like this here: I can’t do what Shaq is doing, and Shaq can’t do what I do. I can’t do what Jermaine does, and Jermaine can’t do what I do. So the things that they bring to the table are different than what I bring to the table. See what I’m saying?
“At the end of the day you can say what you want, but I’m really the captain of the defense,” he said. “And that won’t change.”
Like I said, I love Perk.   He's also getting in to the best shape of his career.  At the time of the injury, he weighed 285 pounds.   Yesterday, he weighed 275 pounds.  He vows to be 265 when he gets back on the court and he wants to be lighter and faster than ever.   All I can say is I can't wait.    Yesterday, JR included  a video of KG helping the young guys.   Doc had this to say about KG helping Semih and Luke after practice. 
"He helps the ones he likes," coach Doc Rivers said of Garnett. "Kevin tries to help every 'big' that comes in here. If that 'big' doesn't listen to him one time he'll never speak to him again -- literally speak to him. And that has happened a couple times and it has been good for that guy. Those two guys are no longer here and that may be one of the reasons. If you're not going to listen to Kevin when he's trying to help you then you're probably messed up -- that but that's Kevin."
Let's see....  There were two bigs who are no longer here that KG tried to help but who didn't listen to him and now they are gone.   Thinking over the bigs who were here and now aren't, it could be PJ Brown, Mikki Moore, Scott Pollard, Leon Powe, Shelden Williams, Rasheed Wallace, or Patrick O'Bryant.   I don't see Shelden or Leon not wanting to learn.  And PJ was a veteran who helped guys himself. Sheed is definitely not one.   So that leaves Mikki Moore, Scott Pollard or Patrick O'Bryant.    I think I'd go with Pollard and O'Bryant as the wayward bigs.  

It's not just KG who is taking the young bigs under their wings.   Bob Chin reported this on the Celtics Stuff Yahoo list:
During the pregame shoot around last night, Shaq pulled Semih aside, had his arm around him and was whispering in his ear.  After a few moments, they grabbed a ball and stood together on the low block with Shaq defending.  Shaq was obviously instructing Semih how make moves depending on how he was getting leaned on.  Shaq would lean on him one way, talk to him, then reset and Semih would make a move.  They did this for a good 3 or 4 minutes.
That is the kind of thing that will keep this team winning.   They are all about team and working together as a team.  Or, as Doc put it, "The Celtic Way." 

The Celtics start a stretch of 4 games in 5 nights with the game in Philly tonight.  Over the next 5 days they will play in Philly, New York, and Toronto and then back to Hartford CT to play the Knicks.  With 2 sets of back to back game,  we won't know who we will see on the court from game to game as Doc will be sitting the vets from game to game.   Tonight, Shaq will definitely be sitting and maybe a few more.  It will be good to get the young guys more playing time, especially the 3 players who are vying for that final spot. 

Speaking of the final spot,  Von Wafer, Stephane Lasme, and Mario West are still trying to make a case for themselves to be that 15th man.   So far, Stephane Lasme has been the most impressive by far.  In the last two games he has had an impact on the outcome.  He is 6'8" and long and the best defender of the three.  But he is proving that he can also score.  He is athletic and fits the need that the Celtics have for a back up 3 with size who can defend and score.  It will be good to get a better look at all 3 of these guys.  I also want to see more of Semih.   With the starters taking turns sitting out, it's up to the Boston Bench Mob to hold down the fort in these next few games.