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Perk is jacking them up!

Kendrick Perkins’ average shot attempts:

2007-08 season: 4.5/game

2008-09 season: 6.2/game

Last 12 games: 9.1/game (62-of-109, or 57 percent)

The silver lining from the recent spate of injuries (note: this doesn’t look quite as silver given the recent news about Leon Powe and Brian Scalabrine) is that role players have been forced to increase their scoring. Perhaps by getting more comfortable taking shots that are slightly more difficult than the ones they take in the normal flow of the healthy offense, these players will be more prepared to make a key shot under duress in the playoffs. At least that’s the hope. Glen Davis has received most of the attention in this regard, especially for his improving jump shot.

But don’t overlook Perk. He’s taken a larger role in the offense during KG’s absence and reintegration, and his shooting percentage has only taken a slight dive–from 62 percent overall to 57 percent as he’s extended himself a bit on offense.

On the down side, he’s also committing two turnovers per game during this span, up from about his average last season (1.5 per game) but essentially even with his average this season (2.2). This is good news, considering Perk has played more minutes than average in eight of these games. 

In stat terms, his increased usage has not resulted in a big decrease in efficiency. The C’s are 8-4 in those games (and were 5-4 before KG’s return), thus disproving my fanciful theory that the C’s are unbeatable when Perk is more involved end–though I’d like to propose a corollary to the Perk Theory that takes into account a massive wave of injuries.

Either way, though, the improvement we’ve seen on the offensive end from Davis, Perkins and even Rondo bodes well for the playoffs. The biggest enemy of this team last season was the occasional scoring drought–something that most often happened when either the bench was in the game or an opponent was doing a particularly good job defending the Big 3.

Combating those droughts will help a lot in the quest for a repeat. Unfortunately, one of the guys who was best at lifting the second unit–Leon Powe–may not be ready for the playoffs. Cross your fingers.