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Scal: Perk trade gave the Bulls more confidence

Celtics-Brian-Scalabrine Former Celtics great rotation player occasional productive body smart and funny bench guy Brian Scalabrine was on Toucher and Rich this morning and talked a bit about the Perkins trade, the current Celtics, and the past teams that he was on. The 17-minute interview (though it was interrupted for a couple minutes early on) is now up as a podcast. A few choice comments (as word for word as I could get, but they may be slightly altered):

On Perk: "That's big news. One thing I always did when I was there, is I trusted Danny and Doc and the decisions they made and I always thought they were smarter than us and smarter than me. I will say this: As a whole our group is pretty excited about it. [Teams around the league] were excited to hear that he was gone. Truth be told, you know, moving forward and watching this team play you don't know what's going to happen. Obviously, we all feel like Kendrick did an unbelievable job clogging the paint up and intimidating the other team, but you never know until the playoffs come."

Mr. Triple Double pointed this out to me in an email: We never heard quotes like this when Perk was still here (other than from the most diehard Perk fans). What's with the revisionist history? No question, Perk made us tougher, and everybody recognizes that he was a defensive force. But didn't the credit go to KG, who changed the entire attitude of the team? 

Click through for more on Perk, as well as some interesting comments about last year's Celtics team and how Chris Bosh fits with the current Heat team.

"We've only lost three games since Kendrick got traded. We feel like we have an unbelievable opportunity in front of us. We felt more confident that we have an opportunity."

Pretty amazing that a trade can have that kind of impact for other teams. Scal repeatedly points out how young the Bulls are, and how little playoff experience they have collectively. Seems like this kind of attitude adjustment could go either way — giving them false confidence so that when the pressure's on, they don't know what to do, or, giving them the appropriate level of confidence to take down the giant.

"This league comes down to two things, offensively and defensively it comes down to pick and roll defense. In my opinion, Kevin and Kendrick were the two best defenders of the pick and roll in the NBA."

He says from watching Jermaine game film, he's a good pick and roll defender, but more importantly, I'm pretty surprised to see him boil success in the league down to a simple two-man game.

Derrick Rose was like "Man, this was big for me. I can get to the basket."

I hope somebody puts this up in KG's locker.

On Shaq: "He's a presence out there. He's size, he's length, he clogs the paint. Whatever Shaq can give them is gonna be big."

Please please please give us something big fella. The names Nenad Krstic and Troy Murphy didn't come up, and with good reason.

On big men: "Doc's gonna use them the right way. If Shaq gives them 15 minutes a game, those are valuable 15 minutes. Anytime you want to talk about minutes, just write the number 96 down, there's 96 minutes at the 4 and the 5 and you divide those up by 4 and go from there. KG can play 36, Baby can play 38, and just subtract from there and those guys can fill those roles. Those other guys just have to fill in the other minutes."

A very sensible point. For all our worrying, most of the minutes are eaten up by those two guys, and if we play a small unit with Green at the 4, that takes even more minutes up. I don't really agree with Scal about Baby being useful for quite that long. I like him better in a more limited role — but obviously that might not be an option.

On the Celtics: "They're still to me the team that in the East is the most dangerous."  

Duh.

On the Bulls: "Very few of our guys have made it out of the first round. Derrick Rose has to see what it's like to win a series. We're not the Celtics of last year where — we're on every game. We're not turning it on, turning it off, keeping the game close and winning at the end. We're a much different team than that. Every possession is the biggest possession."

He did clarify that he doesn't think this is "lazy" basketball, but it sure sounds like a criticism. Any time you start saying "It's just not the way we do it here," it sure sounds like you think your way is the right way.

He's very complimentary of the Celtics for the most part, and does point out that by being a little inconsistent with the effort throughout the season, it allowed the guys to have more energy by the Finals. Still, kind of a jab, no?

On Doc and Danny: "The one thing you have to learn is just to trust Doc and Danny. They know what they're doing."

We now have three teams in this town that all analysis ends up like this.

On the Heat and Bosh: "He's just a bad fit. He's an isolation player and those two guys [LeBron and Wade] can only do pick and roll."

He went on to note that a guy like Amare Stoudemire or David Lee would have been a better fit because they are so good at rolling to the basket. But what a comment! To come out and say this guy isn't the right fit, when you could easily be meeting them in the playoffs. I know Scal is small potatoes as far as the Heat are concerned, but he's still a member of the Bulls, and they might have to answer for such a comment. If the Heat aren't too busy clubbing to read the papers.

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  • Scal could have potential as a nice media guy someday. If he ever makes a playoff roster, people outside of Boston, Jersey, and Chicago, might actually know who he is.

  • Are you surprised Scal is saying these things about Perk? The Lakers openly delighted at the trade, so didn’t Dwight Howard, Stan Van Gundy, Dwayne Wade, etc. It’s because they all know Shaq won’t be there when it matters. If they did believe this, they wouldn’t be talking.
    I guess Jeff Green doesn’t strike fear into anyone. Lucky us.

  • Or hitting the bars with there mom. Classy Lebron.

  • Dwyane Wade delighting over the Perk trade is ridiculous.
    Matchups are important. The trade does make the C’s weaker against Orlando and the Lakers, but NOT against Miami.
    Asking Paul and Ray to guard LeBron and Wade for 48 minutes AND do most of the scoring for a 7 game series was not a recipe for success. Meanwhile, it’s not as if the Heat have a beast in the middle that requires Perk’s defense.
    “I hope somebody puts this up in KG’s locker.”
    Yes, please.

  • I think it was a pretty benign interview. I don’t know that folks threw confetti but yes, other teams would like to see Perk substituted for Krstic or Murphy, that’s common sense that he exaggerated. Maybe a while from now when he retires his story will change, but the following facts do not surprise me:
    A) he showed positive vibes for the franchise that put him on the map and put a ring on his finger
    B) has MORE positive vibes for the franchise currently making deposits to his account

  • well everyone is talking about Perk’s D..ill give you some stats from last night…Perk 5 points and 17 rebounds..Nazr Mohammed 8 points 8 rebounds..but the opposing centers Chris Kaman 12 points 8 rebounds and Deandre Jordan 10 points 8 rebounds..so thats 12 points and 17 rebounds for the OKC tandem lead by Perk and 22 and 16 for the duo from the Clips..now i dont know how many were scored with Perk on the floor in his 33 mins..but what im saying is that Perk’s D doesn’t seem THAT great without KG by his side.
    PS..Blake had 35..and we all now Blake does a majority of his scoring in the paint..where Perk is supposed to be living and clogging..

  • The tahds on the East Coast don’t have the chance to watch Perkins play. Dude always rebounded. Those numbers are what they are.
    But your points are well-taken. OKC is a lousy defensive team, and Perkins and Nazr have no help whatsoever. The Clips bigs had their way inside – but trust me, the fact they have no shooters will be attributed to Perk’s skill.
    The conflation of Perkins’ skills will go on forever, I’m convinced – kinda like how people become perfect when they die.

  • Couldn’t agree more. Knows the game, great personality, tells it like it is.

  • I’m also not surprised by your two points.
    It’s not so much that I’m surprised that teams are happy to see Perk go, but I’m surprised about how forthcoming they’ve been about it. He didn’t seem to have this kind of cache before throughout the league, but maybe that’s because media coverage was dominated by the other starters. I think it is pretty amazing that a trade that on talent is about even (just that the players are talented in different ways) has been so widely, and publicly, celebrated by rivals. For instance, if if the Lakers had dealt, say, Derek Fisher for John Salmons at the deadline, I’m not sure people would have gone crazy over it. Talent-wise it’s a wash, and Fisher has all kinds of been-there-before clutchness, but I think it would be met with confusion rather than delight. (Probably dangerous of me to use a Lakers example, and it’s by no means a perfect one, but so be it.)