It's been awhile since I've jotted down my random thoughts on the Celtics and what's going on with them. I'll start with Perk. Have I mentioned lately how much I love the big guy? When Perk went down with the knee injury everyone said we'd be lucky to see him by April and everyone said that when he came back it would take months for him to be able to contribute. At that time I said that if anyone in the league could come back from that injury and play at a high level again it would be Perk. The guy just works so hard I knew he would be back ahead of schedule.
And now, here he is mid February with 8 games played already and he looks leaner and stronger and has been moving very well. His lateral movement is back. He has not been tentative at all. He is rebounding and defending well and getting better with each game. With a hat tip to Red's Army and the very talented MrTripleDouble, after the jump, there is a clip of Perk doing work in the Bobcats game.
One thing I am very impressed with in that video is when Kwame Bust Brown tries to start something with Perk, he doesn't bite on it. He just glared with that wonderful Perk glare and let Kwame get the technical. Danny needs to do what it takes to resign Perk next season.
There were reports that he turned down a 4 year 30 million dollar extension. But that was incorrect. Roy Hobbs on CelticsBlog researched the current CBA and came up with these numbers:
“the salary in the first year of the extension is limited to 110.5% of the salary in the last year of the existing contract.” Then, after that first year value is established, Perk could receive raises equal to 10.5% of that new first year ever year)
$5,127,429.84 (10.5% raise over last year of contract)
$5,614,650.97 (raise of $487,221.13, equal to 10.5% of prior contract’s last year value)
$6,101,872.10 (raise of $487,221.13, equal to 10.5% of prior contract’s last year value)
$6,589,093.23 (raise of $487,221.13, equal to 10.5% of prior contract’s last year value)
Total: 4 years, $23,433,046.14
That is quite different from the $30 million that was originally quoted in the Herald. I don't blame Perk for turning that down when far less players than him are getting $8-10 million. A lot will depend on what happens this summer with the lockout and new CBA. But Perk is worth more than 5 million a year. He has been a bargain at 4 million a year for the last 4 years. It's time for Danny to up the ante and give him a decent offer and reward him for his work ethic and loyalty. There aren't any questions about his return from the injury now. He has come back as good as, if not better than, he was before. Now let's reward that hard work.
Tech Tracker: As of February 7, KG now leads the Celtics with 8 technical fouls. Paul Pierce is right behind with 7 and next on the list are Big Baby and Nate with 4 each. JO and Perk each have 2 techs each and Marquis and Shaq round out the list with 1 apiece. Doc joins Jim O'Brien and Stan Van Gundy at the top of the coaching list with 7 each. I wonder if they will suspend Doc for a game if he gets 16. Dwight Howard leads the league with 14 technicals while Stephen Jackson and Amare Stoudamire are right behind at 13. Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups are in the next tier with 9 each and Kobe Bryant joins KG with 8.
As for Flagrant fouls, 5 points on Flagrant fouls (1 point for Flagrant 1 and 2 points for a flagrant 2) will give a player a night off and on top of that list we find Elton Brand and Ryan Hollins with 4 each. One player, Hilton Armstrong, has 3 and there are a lot of players with 2, including Shaq. KG and Paul Pierce each have 1. Big Baby had one but it was rescinded by the league.
I was very glad to see that Quisy was released from the hospital and that he is going to be fine. In the scheme of things that are important, that is what counts. The Celtics will miss him and we are about to find out what he brought to the team as they have to try to fill in his spot. But life and his health are much more important than basketball at this point. I read that he is very frustrated that he can't play but even if he can't come back this season, the important thing is that he is going to be ok.
I anxiously await Delonte's return from the wrist injury. I can't stress enough the boost this is going to give the team. The second unit will immediately be much, much stronger with Delonte to lead the offense and his defense will be an added bonus. With Delonte on the court instead of Nate, with all else equal, we win that Bobcat game because Livingston wouldn't have been able to dominate the bench play. Delonte is going to make a big difference and I can't wait. He is targeting February 22, which is the first game back after the All Star Break. I can't wait to see him back on the court again.
The 3 point shoot out is going to be a lot of fun this year. With Ray and Paul going at it head to head along with the other competition, it's going to be fun to watch. Kevin Durant can shoot the 3 ball under pressure as we saw in the HORSE contest last year. He may just sneak in there and beat out both Ray and Paul. I'll go with saying that I think Ray wins it. He is just money with that shot and I think he sweeps the 3 point awards this year with taking the record from Reggie and winning the contest as well.
Thursday's Lakers game is going to be a tough one with all the injuries. With 21+ feet of centers in the injured list along with Delonte and Quisy, that leaves the bench very thin at both the center and wing. I know that the starters will definitely bring it in this one but the play of the bench is going to be critical to this win. Big Baby, Von Wafer and Nate especially have to step up their games and if Luke or Avery get in, they have to be ready to come up big as well. It's going to be a big game all the way around. Hopefully in the end Ray is the 3 point king and the Celtics will have swept the hated Fakers. Go Celtics!!!