We recently posted a poll on our blog asking whether or not our readers think Kendrick Perkins should make the All-star team. I’m here to explain to you why he’s earned a spot on the roster.
Despite starting for the best team in the East, and playing the best basketball of his young career, Perkins is tragically underrated by fans around the league. Perkins has only recieved 48,612 all-star votes, ranking him 9th in votes, behing Dwight Howard, Shaq, Al Horford, Andrea Bargnani, Brook Lopez, Andrew Bogut, Jermaine O’Neal, and even his own backup, Rasheed Wallace! To put that number in perspective, Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard has receieved 1,479,625 votes.
Though Perkins numbers don’t jump off the stat sheet ( 12 pts, 8 rebs, 1.9 blks), his contributions go far beyond statistics. Playing alongside three future hall-of-famers (Pierce, Allen, Garnett) and another player almost certain to be an all-star (Rondo), Perkins willingly sacrifices shots and scoring opportunities for the sake of the team.
Perkins leads the NBA in FG percentage at 64.3%, but only shoots 7.4 shots per game. Compare that with his backup Rasheed Wallace, who shoots 39.4%, but averages 8.8 shots per game, and you’ll realize just how unselfish Perkins is. Perkins never complains about touches or field goal attempts; instead, he helps the team offensively by setting hard screens, carving out space in the paint, and crashing the boards.
Defensively, Perkins has established himself as the best post defender in the Eastern Conference, if not the entire NBA. Garnett gets all the credit for the Celtics defensive success, but it’s Perkins who is their anchor. Night in, night out, Perkins uses his great defensive positioning and impressive lower-body strength to bang with the opponent’s best post player, and protect the paint.
Not only does Perkins deserve to be on the all-star team, but, in my judgement, he is the second best center in the Eastern Conference, behind Dwight Howard. Let’s take another look at the centers with more all-star votes than Perkins:
- Dwight Howard- Admittedly, the best center in the East.
- Shaquille O’Neal- Perhaps, the worst defensive center in the East, averaging a career-low 10.4 ppg.
- Al Horford- 11.3 ppg, 9.6 rpg, but not nearly the defender that Perkins is.
- Andrea Bargnani- I hope you don’t need an explanation for this one, but if you do, watch Bargnani play defense sometime, or just watch him play against Perkins.
- Brook Lopez- 19 ppg and 10 rpg, but his stats are inflated because he plays on maybe the worst NBA team ever.
- Andrew Bogut- Having a very good season (15 ppg, 10 rpg), but again, he plays on a poor team and has more offense run through him.
- Jermaine O’Neal- Over…the…hill….
- Rasheed Wallace- Backs up Perkins and shooting a horrific 39.4%
So there you have it, one Celtics fan’s passionate plea for Kendrick Perkins to be given his due. If you are a Perkins fan, or if I convinced you of his all-star worthiness, please vote for Perkins online, or text “Perkins” to 69622. Voting continues until January 18th. Let’s honor Perkins’ hard work by at least moving him a few spots up the list.