Throwback: Kendrick Perkins comes up huge in 2008 playoffs Game 7

In order to defeat the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2008 NBA championship for banner number 17, the Celtics first needed to make it out of the challenging Eastern Conference. Prior to taking down LeBron James in the 2nd round and a former NBA championship team in the Pistons in the 3rd round, the pesky Atlanta Hawks, featuring among others a rookie Al Horford, took Boston to 7 games in round 1.

After winning the first two games of the series handily, the Celtics proceeded to lose three of the next four games. Everyone needed to step up in Game 7 and they did including the team's 23 year old starting center Kendrick Perkins.

Perkins went for a double double, added 5 blocks, and held Hawks centers Horford and Zaza Pachulia to 4 of 18 shooting. For today's throwback here are Perk's highlights from that pivotal Game 7:

Perkins' role on the 2008 championship Celtics was to play solid defense, set picks, and be an enforcer next to his star teammates. The following regular season, he averaged 9 and 8 and then we got a glimpse of what Perkins could do in a larger role in the 2009 playoffs when KG was sidelined. Despite still playing with stars in Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Rajon Rondo, Perkins averaged 12 points, 12 rebounds, and 3 blocks during that playoff run.

Perkins averaged double digits in scoring during the 2009-2010 regular season while still being a defensive anchor for the Celtics. While overshadowed in the press by the team's other four All-Star starters, Perk still finished 17th in Defensive Player of the Year voting.

That Celtics team would go to make it to the NBA Finals and own a 3 to 2 series lead against the Lakers prior to Perkins blowing out his knee in Game 6 and the Celtics losing that game and the next without one. As of this writing on May 31st 2024, no Celtics team has made it that far since. Hopefully that changes this coming month and Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and company secure Banner 18.

While it's now been sixteen years since that 2008 championship and memories might fade, don't forget that it took more than the Big 3 to win that title. It took a solid bench as well as the Celtics two young starters in Rondo and Perkins stepping up. Both handled their business.

Basketball fans can trash Perkins' traditional stats post Celtics playing days (or post 2010 knee injury) and that's their prerogative, but knowledgeable Celtics fans know that his contributions went beyond the box score and Perk was a Beast for the Boston Celtics and a key member of their last championship.

Just because he's now a national NBA analyst, so needs to not be biased to the Celtics and thus doesn't always predict the team to win, or vote for it's players, doesn't mean he's a "hater," aka the most played out word out there for at least ten years now.

I'm sure Perkins is still rooting for the Celtics to win. He just can't be a homer in his national analyst role. Why fans give a flying f#ck about predictions or voting is beyond me. Results of your team is what matters. Who cares if someone doesn't give your team or favorite players their flowers prior to winning?!

In 2024 it really seems that some Celtics fans care more about how everyone views their players or team more than winning. It's nuts. No one cares who was predicted to win the 2008, 1986, 1984, and 1981 Celtics championships. What matters is that the Celtics won!

And no one cares who predicted the Celtics to win the NBA title in 1982, 1985, 1987, 2009, etc. The Celtics didn't win a title. That's what matters.

And fans getting on Perk for not voting Jaylen All-NBA is just as stupid. These are the same fans though that pleaded with the NBA to classify Jaylen Brown as a guard last year so he could win an All-NBA spot. You know an All-NBA spot which led to a super max deal instead of just an insanely rich max deal. A super max deal which will limit the Celtics financial ability to keep this core together mind you.

Or if the Celtics do ante up and blow past every NBA tax apron to keep the starters together they will be stripped of first round draft picks which are key to sustaining success either via trade or drafting.

Newsflash, Tatum, Brown, Pierce, and Rondo were drafted by the Celtics. Additional news flash, KG, Ray, Horford, Holiday, Porzingis, and Horford were all acquired using first round picks and players drafted in the first round like Al Jefferson, Marcus Smart, and Robert Williams.

Perkins doesn’t hurt the Celtics when he predicts against them or challenges them. If anything is gives them a chip on their shoulders and bulletin board material that helps them win.

The Celtics fans that actively promote the idea that people are "hating" on Boston players, that players are disrespected by being involved in trade rumors, that the team did Isaiah Thomas wrong by trading him to a contender instead of backing up the Brinks truck and mortgaging their future for an injured undersized guard in their 30's, or that lobbied for Jaylen to make an All-NBA team to get an additional $50+ million which is $50 million of tax flexibility Brad Stevens will now need to sacrifice other players for.

Those same fans who think they bleed greener than you or I, those are the ones that ironically do actual harm to the Celtics and are either too dumb to realize it or care more about getting Twitter likes and felating from other fans like this than they actually do about the Boston Celtics winning championships.

Knowledgeable Celtics fans who genuinely care about winning and the team will forever welcome Kendrick Perkins back to Boston with open arms.

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