No Perkins, Big Problem

The Big 3: Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett. Sorry, I meant to say Big 4, add to the mix the supposed question mark of the Boston Celtics’ 2008 title run, point guard Rajon Rondo. The player people most often fail to be mention however among this elite group of players Kendrick Perkins is the unsung 5 among the star-studded Big 4.

6:30 into game 6 of the NBA Finals, Kendrick Perkins landed awkwardly on his left knee and was forced to leave the game. He did not return. Boston went on to lose the game 89-67. One of the big questions after game 6 was the health of Kendrick Perkins. Unfortunately for the Celtics, Perkins was ruled out of game 7 yesterday, which is cause for concern in bean town.

Kendrick Perkins may not be the most flashy player out there. In fact, he is a very limited player. Well, at least on the offensive end. Perkins is consistently left open for short jumpers by opposing teams and time after time he passes up exceptionally good looks. He knows his place on the Celtics, and his place is not a scorer.

Perkins is known around the NBA for his intensity and most notably the look of anger that doesn’t seem to ever go away. Throughout the 2010 NBA playoffs Kendrick Perkins has been asked to face some enourmous challenges. In the Eastern Conference Finals he was asked to guard the taller, longer, more athletic Dwight Howard and for much of that series held him in check. In the NBA Finals he has been asked to guard the also longer, taller Andrew Bynum Bynum has been ineffective through much of the series. Although that is partly due to his injured knee.

Now the Boston Celtics have to deal with life without Kendrick Perkins. People may say that Kevin Garnett is the glue that holds everything together. That may be partially true, but Kendrick Perkins is no slouch. Perkins does not get the recognition that the other stars on the Celtics do, but he still goes out every night and plays his behind off. Without the Celtics 5th man, they will have to rely mostly on Rasheed Wallace and Glen “Big Baby/Shrek” Davis to carry the load at center.

Glen Davis has had his moments during these playoffs but since he and Nate Robinson broke out in Game 4 he has been virtually invisible. Despite having 9 rebounds in game 6, Big Baby didn’t have a single point in 27 minutes. Rasheed Wallace was also held off the scoresheet in game 6 going 0-6 from 3 and 0-7 from the field in 17 minutes.

You wonder if the added minutes for Big Baby are just too much for him to handle. I don’t think that he is mentally bothered by the pressure, but physically it could take a major toll on him. Coming out of LSU Glen Davis has had weight issues, but in the NBA he has gotten it all together. But for a guy like that can you be confident that he can play added minutes? Glen Davis relies on pure energy and hustle to make up for his lack of athletic ability and size compared to other big men. Added minutes means less just a smidgen less energy per play, which means that he probably can’t make up for his physical disadvantages to as great an extent.

Rasheed Wallace on the other hand has been an enigma this entire season for the Celtics. For him, it’s not lack of physical strength or athletic ability it’s more an intensity issue. Wallace is a proven winner but also a guy who decides for himself when he wants to play. Wallace is a guy I would have put money on to have a big game for my team in his younger days. However, now that he is 36 he is not the player he once was. The Boston Celtics obviously can’t rely on him like the Detroit Pistons could in big games.

Almost everyone had counted out the Boston Celtics during the regular season, and almost everyone is now. To me I can’t find a real reason to pick the Celtics to win tonight. Defence is a big part of what defines the Boston Celtics, and Kendrick Perkins is a big part of that defence. It showed last game. The Celtics have shown that never say die attitude throughout the playoffs and it will be there tonight. In the end, I just don’t think it will be enough to handle Kobe Bryant and the LA Lakers.

About Chris Ross
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11 Responses to No Perkins, Big Problem

  1. Josh says:

    yeah its gonna be tough without perkins. his defensive presence and toughness in the middle is hard to replace. big baby is good but hes too undersized to be a significant rebounder and defender. sheed is going to have to step it up and stretch the floor.

  2. Good write up on Perkins. I subscribed to your blog so I can catch everything you write from now on. This is a huge blow to the Celtics. Bigger than if they lost Kevin Garnett if you ask me. He is the lone first tier low post player on the Celtics with size. It will be interesting to see how the C’s come out. Pay attention to the 1st and 3rd quarters tonight. However wins that and the rebounding war will win this game.

  3. Chris,

    I enjoyed this well thought out blog about Perkins. I believe Perkins is one of the better weakside help big men, as well the only person who really tries to keep Gasol off the post before getting in position and set to post u.

    I hope the Laers win, thoguh it seems your a Celtics fan? I’ll subscribe and follow your work. Well done.

    Please follow my blog:

    and on twitter –

  4. chappy81 says:

    The Lakers are going to win, I hate it, but sometimes you have to face the music… As soon as Perk went down in game six, I didn’t think they had a chance seeing the Lakers living in the paint for the last 20 minutes of the first half… I hope the C’s can still make it interesting, but at this point I have some serious doubts that this will even be competitive…

  5. RoswellSounds says:

    Just discovered your blog. Less than two hours! Finals, game 7. Sounds insane! I can´t write anything at this moment. But there´s a concept that´s been running around my head for some time: UBUNTU.

    Maybe it will work tonight, same as it did in 2008. But this time it´s bigger. Better. Deeper…

    If the C´s win tonight, I will cherish this night forever. Not for the sport, or the ring, or Allen,Rondo,Baby,KG,Nate,Tony,Doc,Pierce… Just an idea. A team. Moments that will not be seen again, like everything. Just for that big heart that the Boston Celtics have. And I love them for that. GO C´S!!!!!!!!!!

  6. lbatll1 says:


    It’s Luis from you commented on my keys to the game earlier. I completley agree with you on this one. No Perkins is a huge problem and its because the Lakers are one of the more lengthy teams in the NBA. Gasol is a force, and even though Bynum is hurt he still has those long arms to disrupt anything in the paint. I like the Celtics in this game and I agree with the last line haha im rootin for the Cs. I think they get it done. Ill make sure to keep followin your stuff its real good stuff.

  7. Murphy says:

    Nice write up man, although I would have to regress on the above comment stating that Pau Gasol has “not been highly effective in this series.” Gasol has, far and away, been the best big man so far in the Finals. He continued that tonight with an 19 point, 18 rebound finale. Not too shabby I would say…

  8. Yep, checl out my blog too. This was an easy call for anyone who has watched the NBA consistenly the last few years, or even the last fews months. Perkins was the deciding factor. Kobe had a stink bomb, Sheed played OK, but Pau Gasol took over at the end and ate up the Celtics down low. 19pts, 18boards, can’t get better than that. Kobe’s gotta thank Gasol & Perkins for this ring. He takes a huge hit tonight with his horrible shooting. Granted he pulled down a lot of rebounds, but he aso got a bunch that were gimmes. And listen I like the Lakers, but I am also honest and a realist. Artest’s great game also helped Kobe out last night. And the Refs. Can we please not give one team 20, yes 20! more FT’s? Please.

  9. nbakev says:

    Obviously after seeing the game last night your predictions are quite contrary to what actually happened. Big Baby played well and Wallace added some much needed offense. Good blog though

  10. Southern Dyme says:

    I witnessed Havlicek play as a child and have been a die-hard Celtics fan ever since. I didn’t know Perkins importance until his injury. I remember Garnett getting hurt last year and I knew there was no way they would make it, but without Perkins I thought they still had a chance. Good article and you brought up some good points about Perkins. The Celtics play when they want to, but never like their life depends on it. Any given night any one of them can be ‘hot’. Rasheed plays dirty because that’s the Pistons style (Laimbeer, Rodman) but I don’t think he belonged with the Celtics. I can’t wait to see what will become of my team next season. Good Post!!

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