Last year's stats: 8.5 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 2.0 bpg, FG% 57.7, FT% 60
John: 10.1 ppg, 10.3 rpg, 2.5 bpg, FG% 58.5, FT% 61.1
Chuck: 8.3 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 2.2 bpg, FG% 56.5, FT% 60.6
What will help him the most?
John: The addition of Rasheed Wallace. It's one more guy that other teams will have to pay attention to if Perk is on the floor with him. And it's one more guy who can pass out of the double team and get Perk the ball in the lane. The Celtics have more than enough weapons to spread the floor, leaving Perk and his muscle to do serious damage under the basket.
Chuck: Another year of experience. Perk turns 25 this season, his 7th in the NBA. He's progressed steadily the past two years and this year shouldn't be any different. Perk isn't one to hurt for confidence, but his defensive performance against Dwight Howard in the playoffs last year is likely to boost the ego even further.
What will hurt him the most?
John: His constant shoulder troubles. That shoulder pops on him at least twice a season now. I don't know if it will ever not be a problem for him… so it's something that's going to potentially hinder his progress. It's going to get whacked… and pulled… and pushed… and I'm worried that it might force him to miss games.
Chuck: His off-season marriage, because everyone knows your life changes the moment the honeymoon ends. Just kidding. Aside from the shoulder troubles, I think the acquisition of Rasheed Wallace could hinder his personal development because Perkins is likely to see less court time this season. As John already pointed out, Wallace will help when they are both on the court, but depending on matchup, Doc might have 'Sheed on the court in crunch time.
Can he become an All Star?
John: Maybe. Dwight Howard is the obvious lock as the starter… but who is the second best center in the conference? Shaq? Will he REALLY put up All-Star numbers? Tyson Chandler? Go through the rosters… and the answer could very well be Kendrick Perkins. Perk averaged 13.3 ppg and 11.6 rpg in the playoffs… which shows he can get the job done and put up decent numbers. I think if things fall a certain way… Perk very well COULD make the All Star team.
Chuck: I agree with John, he's got a chance. The defense Perkins played in the playoffs last year caught the attention of the national media and that can only help his cause.
Burning Question: Will Perk finally avoid the foul troubles that have plagued him his entire career?
John: Nope. Perk is what he is. He's bruiser. He punishes people in the block. His aggressiveness makes him what he is, and makes him good at his role. But it also means he's going to get fouls. It's possible the addition of Sheed will allow him to avoid certain fouling situations… but I still think he's going to draw his fair share. If for nothing else… he's got a reputation for it. And until he becomes a bit more productive and regarded as a good low-post defender, refs won't give him the benefit of the doubt.
Chuck: I don't mind the hard fouls in the post, it's the offensive fouls on screens that drive me crazy. Does any player in the league get called for more illegal screens or offensive fouls on picks? I'm praying Perk spent time working on screen-setting this off-season.