The importance of Kendrick Perkins | Red's Army - The Voice of Boston Celtics Fans
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The importance of Kendrick Perkins

When posted this video yesterday, I was incensed.  Here we had a guy… Andy Gresh… hosting a show on the TV home of the Boston Celtics saying Kendrick Perkins was, and I quote, "not that good.  He's not that important.  Eminently replaceable."

And then we had Gary Tanguay, the host of the Celtics pregame show, sit there and not even give so much as a hint of disagreement.  

I've met Gary and he's a pretty nice guy.  I've never met Gresh, but I'm sure he's a nice guy too.  This isn't anything personal.  But watching this from a Celtics fan's perspective is just mind boggling.  I know Gresh, coming from sports talk radio, is trained to make definitive statements that may even border on the bombastic in an effort to trigger discussion and drive callers.  But sometimes that gets you into trouble.  The definitive statement is wrong.  Or perhaps ignorant (I don't know how much basketball he watches).  So here is an effort to educate the Andy Gresh's of the world who still don't know. 

"He's not that good"

Perk is not going to wow anyone with any statistics.  We all know that. Still, last year he did average 10.1 points and 7.6 rebounds in 27.6 minutes per game.  Not all that bad when you consider the other 4 guys on th court with him at the same time.  And he does it all with less than 28 minutes of playing time.  He's a double-double guy if you use the "Per 36" stats.  He was second in the LEAGUE in field goal percentage.  He threatened the Celtics ALL TIME record for single-season field goal percentage.

And that's on the offensive end… the weak spot in Perk's game. 

When Dwight Howard, the defensive player of the year, was asked by ESPN to give his top 5 choices for best defenders back in January, he mentioned Perk and said

He is a really good low-post defender. He knows how to use his body to his advantage.

Perk is widely considered among the best, if not THE best, post defender in the league.  In a league starved for defensive-minded players, Perkins is among the best at his position. 

So I'd say that makes him good.  He's not, and never will be a superstar.  He won't go to the Hall of Fame.  And he won't be the best player on his team.  But he's a good player.

"He's not that important"

The Orlando Magic have had a great run over the past few years.  They're a legitimate title contender.  And Dwight Howard can be the most disruptive player in the league with his size and ability to block shots… even if they're lofted near the top of the freakin' backboard.  He's a freak.  And one man gives him fits.

Kendrick Perkins. 

The entire Orlando offense is predicated on people helping with Dwight because he can just bull his way to the basket and dunk on entire front lines.  When anyone comes to help, Howard kicks it, the ball works its way around the perimeter, and guys find themselves wide open for 3's because the defense has been pulled way out of position with all the ball movement. 

It's a great set up.  They've got the shooters to pull it off.  The only problem when they play the Celtics… and why the often look so bad when they do in a series… is Kendrick Perkins allows everyone to play straight up man-to-man defense.  There's no need to double team when Perk is on the floor.  He forces Howard to shoot uncomfortably long shots often enough to give the Celtics a chance to win.  Even when Howard gets past Perkins, he does so infrequently enough that doubling him isn't necessary.  

When any one player is a lynch-pin to success against one of your biggest obstacles to the NBA Finals, I'd call that player fairly important.  

And yes, I'm leaving Game 7 alone.  That should speak for itself as Exhibit A. 

"Eminently replaceable"

My simple question there is… with whom?

Kendrick Perkins turns 26 in November.  He's a young guy with a solid NBA pedigree who has kept his ego completely in check for the betterment of this team.  He understands his role here, relishes it, and appreciates it.  He makes just more than $4 million a year in a league where he's probably worth twice that now.  

The simple fact is there's no guy in the league who is that age, who will do what Perk has done, and who will even be available to replace Perk should he walk next year. 

Go ahead Andy, take a look at the list, and tell me how "eminently replaceable" Kendrick Perkins is.  The fact is that if Perk does go, he'll be very, very difficult to replace.  

We all know what Kendrick Perkins is.  He's a decent player.  A good player even.  And on this team, he's the perfect fit at that position.  He's the round peg in the round hole.  A defensive minded guy with the attitude and edge that fits this collection of nastiness wearing Green and White.  He's KG's sidekick in defending the goal with ferocity.  He's the beneficiary of some great players on offense, but he's learning more about taking his own shots.  He has his flaws, for sure.  But he's is still good…. still very important… and still very difficult to replace.  

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  • Great article! As one of the original members of the I love Perk fan club, I wholeheartedly agree!

  • CelticinSF

    “We be nothing without the Perk, and his crushing interior defense, or his thunder-funking offense.
    That’s who we be.”

  • Amen. Perk is a monster.

  • Robby C

    Amen. Perk is a beast. I’m going to have to go with “ignorant” regarding these comments.

  • Danno

    Gresh is a big fat idiot. and really should stick to Football and inhaling food like Jabba the Hutt. Because he clearly doesn’t know what the fuck he;’s talking about.

  • daemian

    this Gresh individual deserves a sound slap in the nuts. I love Kendrick Perkins.

  • CFH


  • djisinthehall

    How’d game 7 treat us?
    Not that important?
    I last about 3 minutes when these dipshits talk.
    How many offenseive rebounds did we give up in game 7?
    you couldn’t design a better complimentary player than perk. That and he plays 100% of every game. pathetic

  • jared

    I think you did yourself a bit of a disservice by actually engaging what this fat moron said as oppossed to resorting to name calling, finger pointing and insult hurling.
    Because sometimes thats all that douchebags like Gresh deserve.
    Gresh= hated for life.

  • I considered that Jared… I really did. But in the end, it was a topic I wanted to tackle. Because after all he’s done, Perk is still not appreciated as he should be

  • NineSevenEight

    + 1
    Gresh = Felger
    They hate on the Celtics 24/7 because they can’t stand that their beloved Bruins disappoint them every year.

  • Lee in Oregon

    As long as Dwight Howard is in the NBA, Perk has plenty of value.

  • 2nd that.. Felger craps on the Pats all the time too.

  • Beast is the Beast. A good 6th man isn’t ” Eminently replaceable”, so how the hell can a 26 yr old starting center, making $4m be? He can’t. End of story.
    Tanguay is completely useless. You can almost see Tommy rolling his eyes every time Gary swings to him in the booth.

  • It seemed at the start of last year Perk was channeling Al Jefferson and shooting an ungodly % while playing the kind of defense we all have come to expect from The Beast. We started every game getting the ball to KP inside and he thrived in that role for several weeks. Then he inexplicably regressed into the Kendrick of a few years back on the offensive end. Last year looked like it was going to be a real ‘breakout year’ for Perk. I hope he will use the extra time off to regain the offensive form he briefly show early last year…

  • jared

    I agree, a very insightful comment. Hopefully, Perk picks up where he left off early on. All I can ever really ask of Perk is that he makes small, steady steps toward offensive improvement while maintaining his dominance on the defensive end. My hope for Perk is that he comes back fully fit. If he does, he will work his ass off to improve on the offensive end, no doubt. Which is one of the reasons I love the guy so much. Hes a serious professional, and when I look down our roster, the last guy I ever worry about striving to improve his game is Kendrick. We have all seen the Blounts and the Earls and the Montrosses come through, which is why I stand by Perk so strongly. We see it every night, which is a big reason why Celtic nation has blasted this bastards comments out of the water.