Can we all just take a moment to appreciate Kendrick Perkins? The man is an absolute warrior. (Boston Globe)
“Perk’s knees are still really bad, bothering him,’’ Rivers said. “But I don’t like the long break. I don’t mind the two days, but this break and the one we had last week, that’s long. There’s only so much they want to hear from you, so practices get a little sketchy to say the least.’’
With knees as bad as Doc Rivers says they are, it’s amazing that Perk can even play — let alone give Dwight Howard more than he ever bargained for. Dwight was better last night, but not because Perk gave anything less than an admirable effort.
I don’t want to say Perk is underrated, because anyone who knows anything about basketball knows how good he is defensively. But sometimes his efforts go under the radar. He’s not so much underrated as he is underappreciated. Doc had a perfect analogy yesterday, when he compared Perk to an offensive lineman. He’s just like those big kahunas that keep the quarterback safe. Every coach and every analyst knows who the good linemen are, and they’re perhaps the most important aspect of a passing game. But when was the last time an offensive lineman got any credit for a win? I’ve never read the headline: “Stephen Neal stars as Patriots win.”
Perk is the same way. He does all the dirty work, but gets little credit when his team wins. Only when he plays Dwight Howard better than any other mortal does Perkins get any credit at all. But everyone knows how good Perk is at what he does. Ask around the league and the people who follow it, and everyone knows Perk’s one of the two or three best low-post defenders in the game.
It’s time we start appreciating him like he deserves. Let’s give him accolades even when Dwight Howard goes for 30, because Perk still makes him work. Let’s admire the way we never question Perk will be in the lineup, no matter how much we hear about his knee. That’s how amazing his toughness is — I heard Perk missed a practice, and it didn’t even faze me. I read today that his knee is “really bad,” and I never once pondered the possibility that he’ll miss a game.
No matter what, I know Kendrick Perkins is bringing his lunchpail to work with a scowl on his face. There are few sure things in life, but that’s one of them.