Monday Bolts – 1.16.12

Don’t forget the watch party at Brix tonight for the Celtics game. The game tips at 7 p.m. but you can always show up early if you’d like. Hopefully you can come on out and take in a game with some fellow Thunderers.

Perk on returning to Boston: “It’s been a lot of different thoughts going through my head,” Perkins said. “You don’t want to be too emotional, and you don’t want to make it all about yourself because, really, it’s all about us getting the win. But at the same time, you’re playing against friends of yours. But I still got to be Perk. I still got to be me. It’s kind of hard because you’re caught in between.”

Doc Rivers: “Perk’s a Celtic, I don’t give a crap what uniform he has on.”

Chris Mannix on Perk: “Playing the game may be tough, but Perkins should rest easy about his reception. As much as he embraced Boston, the city, the fans embraced the blue-collar Perkins right back. The Celtics have planned a pre-game tribute and its likely Perkins will receive the loudest ovation for a visiting player since Robert Parish returned with the Hornets in 1995. Perkins may wear blue now, but the city will always remember him in green.”

Ric Bucher defends his top seven player rankings.

Marc Stein of ESPN.com in the Weekend Dime: “Kevin Durant, meanwhile, says he’s going to need more time in the gym to be able to replicate Nowitzki’s one-legged stepback jumper with greater regularity despite working on the shot all summer. “I get double-teamed a lot in the post,” Durant said, “so I gotta figure out how to shoot that shot a little quicker.”

How do Rondo and Westbrook stack up?

Ethan Sherwood Strauss of HoopSpeak says to get rid of free throws:  “My proposal is simple: Take every situation that would require a free throw and grant one point. Two points for two shots, three points for three. With freebies counting as roughly .75 points per shot, this is nearly what happens anyway. Yes, scoring would go up, but scoring went up when the shotclock was introduced. Improved game flow outweighed other concerns. Big men with bad strokes would be wholly incorporated into the contests, and no longer would the beauty of hoops be derailed for a hack-a-whomever.”

KD has the top spot in NBA.com’s top plays ladder.

Darnell Mayberry on Harden as a sixth man: “Harden is now handling the ball more than ever while playing nearly 30 minutes a night. He’s become a reliable “point-forward” that can bring the ball up the court and initiate the team’s offense. With that responsibility, Harden has averaged 3.5 assists against 1.6 turnovers, a 2.19 assists-to-turnover ratio that ranks sixth among shooting guards. So far, Harden has made what he calls the biggest challenge of a sixth man look easy.”

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