We didn’t really expect to hear anything any more definitive about the playing status of Thunder center Kendrick Perkins than what we heard from head coach Scott Brooks at high noon.
When asked if Perkins was still day-to-day with his strained hip Brooks answered, “yes,” and then he admitted, “I haven’t seen him yet today but he’s with our medical staff getting worked on and I’m assuming in the next couple days we’ll have a better understanding.”
An MRI conducted Sunday revealed no tears in the muscle, just a strain. Trouble is those can take a while to heal and remember Thunder guard Thabo Sefolosha was listed day-to-day for about a month and a half with his sore foot.
As reporters tried to glean any further information about the potential seriousness of the injury Brooks was asked if Game 5 in the Dallas series had been today could Perk have played? Scotty thought about that for a moment then said, “probably not.”
Of course there is no Game 5 today, not even an official practice as the Thunder prepares to play either the Lakers or the Nuggets in the second round.
“It was nice to get that series over because you never want to give a team a chance to play another game if you don’t have to.”
Especially a game against a Mavs team that might have suddenly had hope, best not to even chance a walk down that path.
After ending things early with the Mavericks, Oklahoma City won’t start the next series until Saturday at the earliest so Brooks can give his players some time to rest and also work them pretty hard too.
“We’ll probably go a hard (practice) and then a light one and when I say light those practices will have a lot of running but not a lot of contact, just get our timing down and get a lot of shots up.”
A long layoff between games can be a blessing (Perk has time to heal up) and a curse (everybody else has to stay sharp) so it will be a fine lien the coach and his staff will have to walk in preparing practice schedules.
“We have to keep our timing sharp and we do that by competing against each other in 5-on-5 situations or 3-on-3 or even 1-on-1. The good thing about our guys is they love to practice and get after each other.”
They’ve been known to get after each other a little too much in these sessions, “and that’s when I have to step in and kinda tone it down a little bit,” Brooks said, “cuz they don’t like to lose even against each other.”
But until at least this weekend, each other will be the only opponents they’ll have.