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With all the talk about Kendrick Perkins lately, I figured it would be smart to get the perspective of someone that knows him as a player as well as anyone. I asked Zach Lowe of SI’s The Point Forward (Zach being a Celtics fan) what he saw out of Perk these past two months and maybe what Thunder fans should expect going forward.
There’s no question Perk wasn’t healthy in the playoffs. He has never been a good offensive player, but the train wreck you saw in the post-season is not representative of his play overall. He is capable, believe it or not, of getting you 8-10 cheap points (12 on a good night) by backing down smaller guys and dropping in jump hooks.
He’s a better finisher on the move than you saw in the postseason–he had improved a ton on that before his knee injury. Playing with KG forced him to learn to receive quick passes and go up to the rim fast. He’s not always good at it–he’ll pump fake his way into a travel–but he’s way better healthy than he was in the playoffs. I don’t think it’s exaggeration to say the Perk we saw in the post-season was about as bad offensively as any player can ever be.
He’ll be more active on both ends next season.
Again, with Perk saying he wants to drop down to 265 (he was about 15 pounds over that this season) and the fact he gave himself a “D” for his performance says a lot. Perk has ambitions to not just get back to where he was before his second knee injury, but better. That might be a bit ambitious, but the point remains: What you saw out of Perk in a Thunder uniform isn’t the Perk Sam Presti traded for.
And even still, a 60 percent Perk definitely played a pretty key part in getting Oklahoma City to the Western Conference Finals anyway.