We've all been talking about a lot of guys being very important. And yeah… this team NEEDS a lot of guys to step up and do great things.
But the fact of the matter is this: Kendrick Perkins is THE most important player in this series. And that was proven last night.
There were a few times last night where KG ended up on Dwight Howard after a switch, and Dwight suddenly reverted back to "Hawks series bulldozer." Garnett had no shot at stopping him as Dwight used his one back-to-the-basket strategy effectively and got right to the rim.
That just doesn't happen when Dwight's got to deal with Kendrick Perkins.
Last night, Perk just didn't have it. Doc also said the C's offense was so bad, he needed a 5th scorer on the floor… which meant we saw a lot more of Big Baby and Sheed. And while they did an OK job on Howard, they still can't do what Perk has done.
On top of that, the pick-and-roll defense was terrible last night. There were switches and rotations that gave the Magic, and Dwight Howard, a lot of easy looks. At their best, the Celtics hedge out and help a guy get back into the defensive play. That generally allows guys to get back into position and prevent a lot of what we saw.
The Magic weren't great last night, but they were good enough. We saw them working the ball around the perimeter and get some good looks. The shots were falling early, then they cooled off as the game went on. But the only reason the shots were there is because the Celtics couldn't do what they've done all series: guard Dwight Howard straight up.
That starts and ends with Kendrick Perkins. He's done a great job for most of the series… and I'm sure he'll do a great job again. Last night showed just how much we need him to be on the floor and effective on the defensive end.