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Red's Army

The Perkins trade revisited, with added Stiemsma perspective

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) April 16, 2012 Uncategorized 45 Comments

I know this seems like I'm dredging up an old story line.  And I guess I sort of am.  But I swear, I'm doing it for a good reason.  Because like everything else in life, proper perspective is needed before rushing to judgement. 

It's been more than a year since "it" happened.  Last year, Danny Ainge clearly made a mis-calculation about the availability of Shaquille O'Neal and effectiveness of Jermaine O'Neal.  I think we all know that and there's no need to dredge that up. 

But now the Celtics are five games away from entering the playoffs as the fourth seed.  Their lineup is now radically different, and better, because of various factors, including the Kendrick Perkins trade.  

With Perkins, there's no KG at center, where his career has been resurrected.  Even if we assume the Baby/Bass trade happens, Bass is coming off the bench.  And where does Greg Stiemsma fit?

And it's Stiemsma's emergence that sparked this whole idea.  Because Greg Stiemsma is a better player than Kendrick Perkins this season. 

On defense, he's allowing .72 points per possession (ppp) according to Synergy Sports, good for 29th in the league.  Perkins is allowing .80 ppp, ranking him 114.  Stiemsma is averaging 1.56 blocks per game to Perk's 1.14.  Since the All Star game, Stiemsma has blocked 57 shots while Perkins has blocked 27.  Perkins is the better 1-on-1 defender (.49 ppp to .92 ppp) but Stiemsma is the better pick-and-roll defender (.38 to .7 ppp).  

On offense, Stiemsma scores .95 ppp to Perk's .76.  Neither scores much at all, but Stiemsma does have the one thing that Perk never had offensively:  a 16-20 foot jumper that he can hit when he's open. 

And one final stat just for the hell of it:  Perkins has a league-leading 12 technical fouls (tied with DeMarcus Cousins).  Stiemsa has 2.  That stat is just for fun. 

And I'm not trashing Perkins, so I really hope this doesn't come off as such.  My point about all of this is simple:  Greg Stiemsma, statistically speaking, has been a slightly better player than Kendrick Perkins this year.  They're in different situations, of course, so the head to head comparison does have its flaws.  But the worst you can say is they're equal.  

I know the guys loved Perk.  We all did.  I'm always going to have a soft spot in my heart for him.  But this Celtics team is better this season without him than it could have been with him.  

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  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p011571d4119a970b Lex

    Greg Stiemsma is a better player than Kendrick Perkins this season.
    You may want to qualify that.
    Gran Torino does things that don’t show up in stat books, like keep bynum out of the box and scoring easy points.
    The intimidation factor is underestimated too.
    Stiemsma is OK in general, a good shot blocker, and a decent rebounder.
    Whether he is a better player than KP is dubious.

  • CoachBo

    Well, if those of you with a perpetual hard-on for Perkins want him back … sounds like OKC will certainly amnesty him in the off-season to sign Ibaka and Harden.

  • Danno

    Stiemsma is a far better player than Perkins, period.
    The only statline that Perkins has Stuffsma beat is drawing techs and pouting like a bitch.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/mdsample greenbeand

    that’s definitely very realistic. ibaka and harden’s more okc’s style. danny needs to do it for rondo

  • Danno

    Danny doesn’t need to do shit for Rondo, he’s a grown ass man. and adding that walking Tech with the worst footwork in the league would set the team back 6 years.

  • Kricky

    THEM’S FIGHTING WERRRDS!
    But seriously. Interesting post and perspective. I still think the trade costs us a real title run last year. Plus I’m not so sure I believe in the stats as much. Perk usually has to guard the other team’s best post player, while Stiemsa is playing a lot of minutes against the other teams’ 2nd unit. Also Perk brings a certain toughness too that rubs off on the other guys.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/eric73 mrchumpy

    Yeah but that pouty-face and tough guy demeanor are important part of what Kendrick brings. By his own admission he acts as “big brother” for a team…just muscling opponents and putting some fear in to them. I was never his biggest fan, but I always admired this quality.
    Stiemboat is still too much of a rookie amongst veterans to have this kind of swagger, but he’s getting there. Did you see him strut a little bit after the 3rd/4th/5th blocks against CHA? He’ll get that swagger.

  • paul

    Of course, you are being willfully stupid when you claim that Ainge miscalculated about Shaq. It was pitifully obvious at the time that if Shaq came back at all, it would be as a shadow of his former self, which itself was a shadow of his former self, which itself was a shadow. And, as you also fully know, Shaq himself made it clear that he told Ainge not to count on him. Is Shaq credible? Maybe not. Nor is Ainge. Both men are known to say whatever they find strategic. Which brings us back to the sheer blatancy of Ainge’s original lie about Shaq.
    BECAUSE OF AINGE’S MASSIVELY IDIOTIC TRADE, OUR TEAM’S COHESION WAS DISRUPTED FOR THE PLAYOFFS AND WE HAD NO LEGITIMATE STARTING CENTER. In other words, AINGE THREW THE CHAMPIONSHIP.
    Now if you fools want to lie to yourselves, for the sake of bowing down like the mindslaves you are to Group Think, fine. You do that. There is nothing easier in life than being a mind slave.
    You also know that what happens this year has NO bearing whatsoever on evaluating the Perkins trade. The ONLY measure that matters is the effect it had on our championship run last year. You don’t scuttle one championship on hopes of maybe something a year or two or three down the road. To do so is managerial malpractice. You know this.
    You also know that it is laughable-to-insane to call Stiemsma a better center than Perkins. Yes, I know, you have stats. It’s so much better than having a brain and using it. Every mind slave adores stats and talking points that can make them feel righteous in their Group Think. How sweet it is to just let the burden of individuality go…
    But, of course, as you know, if you want to go by statistics, virtually every center in the league is better than Perkins. Statistically, Mohammed and Collision, his teammates and fellow Bigs, are probably better. What Perkins brings shows up in the play of his teammates and the success of the team. The Thunder are better defensively, tougher, and stronger than they were, and because of this are perhaps favorites to win the championship. Perkins is a proven championship level center. Stiemsma is an over-achieving minor league center.
    I love Stiemsma. I don’t actually want Perkins back at this point because I think the team has evolved into a different team, playing a different style, and because I think Stiemsma is a learner with tremendous upside, IF we can keep Garnett next year. I think Stiemsma could be a better center than Perkins before he is through, maybe even soon. His rate of development this year has been tremendous.
    But yeah, you are hating on Perkins, and the pathetic reason for it, the craven desire to Defend Danny, is all too obvious.
    Reclaim your minds, people. Use them. Don’t be drones.

  • wil

    The thing is Steamer doesnt play starting. He’ll get pounced more when playing as starter. Against Bynum and Howard, I still doubt how stiemsma will handle that.
    But “Offensively” i like stiemsma better.
    “Defensively”, different type of players. Perk does it by putting opponents in a difficult situation. He uses his body to push hard and make the opponent uncomfortable. Stiemsma on the other hand times the Blocks perfectly (he is like a white Ibaka). I think perkins is a better post up defender. Stiemsma destroys those who drive.
    But on Rebounding, Stiemsma still needs work. I thought if he started he’ll get a double double. But Points and rebounds stayed the same.
    Stiemsma got talent though. He does everything neatly. He doesnt go out of place. He takes high percentage shots rather than forcing shots.
    All he needs to do is bulk up. Work on his body so he can take physical shots on the inside (elbows, pushing, that kind of stuff).
    As an investment? ill take Stiemsma anyday. He got more potential with the C’s. Rebounding is the only thing i miss about perk.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/redsarmy Red’s Army

    You so busted me. Danny ordered me to write this post. How did you know?

  • James Eisenman

    I loved Kendrick but always looked at his abilities realistically. When all of you guys went crazy about the trade, I realized that Danny did what he had to do. Perkins is not really tall enough to be a center (making him not much of a shot blocker or intimidator). He can’t shoot or score very well nor is he a reliable free throw shooter. He is a mediocre rebounder as well. Steamer is a great shot blocker and intimidator, has a nice assortment of shots and is turning into a good rebounder. Perkins’ only superiority is his muscle and strength in keeping the bigs farther away from the basket. But I think Steamer can pick up some tricks to counter that. I mean, overall, Jermaine O’Neal posted better numbers than Perk this season and he stinks! No contest here.

  • Mike

    tell us how you really feel

  • http://profile.typepad.com/mdsample greenbeand

    teams no longer fear the c’s toughness, plus it gives rondo a much needed friend. ‘nuff said

  • http://profile.typepad.com/mdsample greenbeand

    ripping up second units like a shark toying with a meal, that ally hoop dunk the other day.. OMG!

  • James Eisenman

    Oh yeah and Paul knows as little about centers as he does about point guards. LOL. Now I’m sure he is Rondo. Didn’t Rajon get all pissy last season because his man crush got traded? Hmmm!

  • http://profile.typepad.com/bostonsportz BostonsportZ

    Can I get an AMEN UP IN HERE??????????? Great post John!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Quest

    Steimsma only received this opportunity to step up and be showcased due to J O’Neal’s injury and wrist surgery. Wonder how things would have developed if Jermaine was still on the active roster… not good in my opinion…Steimsma may be still sitting on the end of the bench.
    Speaking of which why is Dooling in the doghouse with Doc.

  • wil

    STEAAAAAAAAAAAAAM MACHINE!!
    looked up the stats. Stiemsma is in 2nd on “Blocks per 48 mins”.
    Only second to ibaka. thats pretty good lol work on rebounding then Boston doesnt need to find a Good center anymore,

  • focusedusa@yahoo.com

    Celtics are better my butt, that trade was worst in all NBA history, ur crazy, go see a doctor!

  • Quest

    Express your opinion by all means but why must you always put down and be so derogatory of other people’s voices on this site.

  • Likes_Turtles

    I like turtles.

  • KY Celts fan

    cool story, bro. btw, did you ever find out who really killed Kennedy? or who was actually behind 9/11? I bet you have lots of good answers to those questions.

  • Danno

    much needed? LOL. I think he’s found a pretty good friend in Avery Bradley, and he’s 1000% tougher, basketball-wise, than Perk will ever be.

  • KY Celts fan

    hyperbole much?

  • Sam

    That’s an interesting point of view, and there’s definitely something to be said on whether we would have seen Steamboat develop in front of our eyes with a healthy Perk on the roster (or J.O. (yeah I know) or Wilcox for that matter). Seeing the 26 year-old rookie develop into an NBA player in front of our eyes is a great feel-good story for the C’s and their fans.
    However, as though Perk does not have that little mid-range jumper or the same blocking highlight reel, he still is a better one-on-one defender (I’d prefer him to guard Howard or Bynum than Steamboat) and there remains to be seen how much of that pick and roll efficiency comes from playing against 2nd teamers, for one part, and from playing alongside KG (who can even turn Bass into a half-decent defender thanks to his on-court quarterbacking) for another.
    All in all, I’m really happy we discovered Greg and I hope we’ll keep him long term at a reasonable contract and see him blossom further into a defensive force with a sweet mid-range J. Even with Perk in OKC it was still a pretty long shot for him to have a chance on that roster though (the domino effect caused by Wilcox’s cardiac issues, that also forced Ticket to relocate at Center).
    The Trade was a huge mistake from Danny which, I believe, cost us a chance at a deeper run in last year’s playoffs because you do not want to mess with your team’s chemistry when the postseason is coming and you do not want to count on an overweight Center with messed up Achilles (and on another which body was mummified and on Curly who was softer than soft). The way we recovered from it, as far as our Center situation and our team chemistry is concerned, was astounding, albeit unusual. Let’s enjoy that, keep the past where it is (still keeping fond memories of and cheering for Perk) and go ahead with what we have (KG at Center, Steamboat as his backup).
    Go C’s.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/redslovechild1 Redslovechild

    Despite the recent success, I hate the idea of KG playing center.
    KG`s age and body-type was not meant for the center position. It leaves Boston vulnerable, and with a narrow margin-of-error with him and Stiemsma in the middle.
    Even though all the negatives about Perk are true…he gave Boston a “hard-nosed, intimidation factor” that is missed.
    Stiemsma is a definite keeper…has exceeded all expectations…and is a quality back-up center. Plus, his shot-blocking is being respected by the refs, and they seldom blow the whistle when he goes up for a block.

  • CoachBo

    No Perkins fan here – one of the most overpaid limited-skillset players in the NBA.
    I’m also not at all interested in catering to Rondo’s immaturity. This half-season has given me some hope that he might finally be growing up a little bit and realizing that he needs to bring it every night, rather than pout away a half-season because his slug center pal got traded.
    LOL at Sam Presti, and at anyone who thought the Thunder did anything but get fleeced in the Perkins deal. If Green was healthy, the books would be closed on that trade and Ainge would be smoking a cigarette after that, uh, conjugal visit with Presti.

  • CoachBo

    You do realize, right, that you don’t make a shit’s worth of sense? Again.

  • CoachBo

    Actually, I’d be fine with Perkins’ return at a price that reflects his skills – which wouldn’t be a whole hell of a lot above the league minimum.
    Paying that stiff his asking price last year would have been the height of insanity, and the notion that Perkins somehow would have spelled a championship for this team is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever read on this board. There may be no bigger canard in Boston sports than the idiotic notion that Perkins’ sloth-footed, no-hands game somehow is a “hard nosed intimidation factor.” He’s a walking, talking turnover and technical machine.
    Once and for all: Perkins is a stiff.

  • SF CeltsFan

    I totally agree with Paul. The Perkins trade disrupted our team’s chemistry costing the team a legitimate run last year.
    Think about it — what if we had won the title. I would take a title over jeff green — even if perk had left for a higher offer. We’d still be in the position we are today with more confidence.
    I’m over Danny Ainge — during the trade deadline the dude is like Tom Cook during an apple keynote — just more of the same! We should have promoted Doc to GM and had Thibodeau coach.

  • KY Celts fan

    Even if we had Perkins last year, Rondo still had a busted arm. We weren’t winning a title with Rondo playing with one arm tied to his side.

  • KY Celts fan

    I like Perk, I really do. And I was really sad to see him go. And I honestly believe that if that clodhopper Bynum hadn’t fallen on top of him and busted Perk’s knee, we would have another banner hanging in the Garden.
    All that said, trading Perk didn’t cost us a championship last year. There were way too many other factors at play. Jeff Green is a better player, and we’ll be able to see it better next season (hopefully).
    I love watching the Steamboat play. It’s nice to find a diamond in the rough, much like LA got with Shannon Brown or Orlando got with Ryan Anderson. They’re two very different type of players, and its hard to compare them because, as others have stated, Perk is a starter and plays against the best, and Steamer comes off the bench. They both aren’t very good rebounders for their size, and both are limited offensively (though I remember very clearly Perk pulling out the same 10 ft. jumper on numerous occasions in 2010 that we are now praising Steamer for).
    It’s interesting to look at what-ifs, but it is foolishness to argue over them, because no one can be proven right. Let’s just enjoy these group of players as they are, and we’ll deal with any new or old guys during the summer.
    So, basically, what I’m saying is: STFU, Paul! Ass.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156f6f0b73970c Celticsfanatic

    Agree 110%. Aside from factors that worked out well that we couldn’t predict like Stiemer’s emergence, KG’s revival, etc., I’ve always thought the Perkins trade was for the best for a number of reasons. Without a backup perimeter defender, we were in just as bad if not a worse position heading into the playoff position by keeping Perk. His knee was questionable and still is. I can guarantee if he went on the FA market as an RFA with the Celts, he would have been wayyy overpaid, maybe even more than he already was. And lastly, I think Perk had been so underrated he became overrated. Let’s face it: in the playoffs, if KG is not at his absolute best, the front court is a liability on the offensive end. And it’s likely he would have been — KG looked cooked before making the move to center this season. Perk can’t shoot free throws, he gets a lot of techs, and as good of a defensive player as he was he was no blocking machine and I think in some ways some of the touting he receives is in part of the great system he was part of. He was decent, not even good in my mind. I just always defended him because for a while he was dumped on as a liability all-around, which isn’t true. But seeing how tired Pierce was even with two backups in last year’s second round against the Heat, I would absolutely do the Perk trade over again.

  • Rondoing, bradleying and stiemboating all day!

    I really think that the trade was a good one at the time!
    And now I think it’s a really great one (if Green comes back for cheap).
    Perks ONLY advantage was his 1 on 1 defense in the post!
    That’s it!!
    He was a liability offensively!
    Let’s not forget the situation at hand at the time of the trade:
    - Shaq with the starters was a deadly starting 5.
    - Perkins out and injured, and nobody knew whether he could come back to previous level of play.
    - we lost marquis and had nobody behind pierce at the 3.
    - Our playoff run would most likely go through a certain type of teams: teams with all star level 3s and no potent center whatsoever (Knicks had Carmelo and NO CENTERS and Miami had Lebron and NO CENTERS!!). Pierce was looking tired at that time too!
    - Perkins was asking for more money than we could offer him
    So basically the situation at hand was clearly in favor of the trade!
    If we were to face the Magic and Lakers, then I would have considered this trade risky! but with NYK and Miami on our way, we just didn’t need perk that much!!
    We simply needed a healthy Rondo and a little bit of luck on some of those crazy long 3s from LeBron with a hand in his face! Not sure Perkins would have been much of a help there!
    Now fast forward today, and I’m looking at his contribution in OKC (Without even looking at the detailed stats) and I can see that he is great for their interior defense but a liability for the rest!! Just like I thought he was for us! I prefer Stiemboat!
    Stiemboat fits better with our offensive by opening up driving lane with his shooting skills and Help tremendously our defense with his shot blocking skills as well!
    I will miss Perkins whenever we play Bynum and Howard.
    As for the rest (Hibert, Mc Gee, Nene, DeAndre Jordan, Duncan, Gasol) I think we can all agree that KG and Stiemboat have been doing just fine against them lately…
    If Green comes back lighting it up from 3pt land and efficiently posting up smaller SF than more people will start opening their eyes on that GREAT trade… for now I still think it was a very good trade given the circumstances at that time!!

  • Classless

    It was a bad trade at the time…and still is.
    Trading Perkins last year gutted the team of it’s cohesiveness and part of it’s heart. Yes, Perkins was hurt in the beginning of the year, but this team prided itself on having an “unbeatable” starting 5. While bringing back Green seemed (on paper) a logical move, Green simply wasn’t ready for prime time here in Boston. He came up small all throughout the playoffs, with the exception of Game 5 vs. Miami (too late).
    With this current team, Green would be a huge addition. But so would Perkins. By stating “Bass would go to the bench”, you say that like it’s a bad thing. It isn’t. He probably should be a 6th man and would only make this team deeper and better. Bass can still finish games (a la Big Baby). I’m not so sure Steemer will get any respect from the officials or leeway from Doc in a tight playoff game.

  • CoachBo

    Got any evidence of all this chemistry nonsense besides all this hyperbole?
    It cracks me up how Celtics fans insist on turning their team into some group of guys who love each other more than their paychecks or life itself.
    This team has displayed “heart” since Captain T left, and they’ll display it again. Cut the crap. No one’s buying it.

  • Djisinthehall

    Dude, the conspiracy theorist is a couple IP’s down. This is basketball son!
    Don’t kill yourself with the analysis. I would pay good money to hear you and old man eisenman go at it.

  • vandell

    Anyone still crying over “the trade” should shut up. Period. And for those that have anything to say about RR should close their mouth, its his show, respect him or go by a cp3 jersey. Go CELTICS! > IM SO SICK OF YOU CRYING ASS FANS! AHHHHHHHHHHHH

  • Djisinthehall

    Nailed it!
    RR over Cp3 all day, everyday.

  • Coach BoKnowsNothing

    This might be the most idiotic comment in history.

  • CoachBo

    Awwww. You’re jealous.
    That’s sweet.

  • CoachBo

    Ah, not really. There’s an entire blog devoted to crying about this trade – CelticsBlog.
    Some of you aren’t going to ever admit that Perkins can’t play, even when OKC sends him and that idiotic contract they signed him to packing.
    He’s done nothing in OKC – in fact, Nazr and Collison are giving them FAR better minutes inside than the King of the Technical Foul.
    Fact is, if Green had stayed healthy, this discussion would be too embarrasing for even the Perkins Knob-Slobberers over there to undertake.
    So, if there’s a bright side to Jeff’s ailment, it’s the embarrassment it’s saved the clowns contending that Perkins actually meant something to the Celtics’ future.

  • James Eisenman

    Paul’s afraid of me like you are. He posts his Rondo Uber Alles posts and occasionally laments a non-existant championship that would have been except for the Perkins trade. Both of you are trying to enter into a battle of wits unarmed. That’s always dangerous. I hate to even respond to you guys because it’s like shooting fish in a barrel. It’s impossible for you two to kill yourselves with analysis because neither of you seem to have any clue about what you’re talking about. But what do I know? I’m just a 59 year old basketball junkie who’s been following the Celtics since before you were a spark in your Daddy’s eye and could still beat you and Paul in a game of one-on-two blindfolded with one arm tied behind my back. ;-)

  • KG

    Hey SF Celtsfan
    Im assuming you live in San Francisco. I am moving there in a few months and i am dreading paying hundreds of dollars for sports packages to watch all my favorite Bos teams. Any good sports bars out there with a boston following? Being a city with a lot of transplants, thought there was a chance. I know there is one in LA.

  • Fafnir

    “Ah, not really. There’s an entire blog devoted to crying about this trade – CelticsBlog.”
    Strange given there are a ton of different viewpoints about the Perkins/Green trade on Celticsblog both among authors and posters.
    But people see what they want to.