Chris Sheridan predicts a suspension for Perk in today’s Daily Dime (hat tip: CelticsBlog), and in a poll on ESPN.com, 71 percent of respondents think Perk should be suspended. Here’s the clip, with slow mo replays starting around the :49 second mark. I stand by what I wrote last night: Perk should not be suspended. Calling this an “elbow” is a bit simplistic. It’s a forearm/elbow combination, and it has nowhere near the malicious wind-up/preparation of Howard’s (a player I like, Magic fans, so settle down) elbow to Sam Dalembert. That was a true elbow.
And if you don’t think Pietrus flopped a bit here to help make his case, well, then I don’t know what to tell you.
Here are the relevant Perk quotes:
Stu Jackson, via Sheridan: “Certainly, in this case had he made contact in the head area, we’d be evaluating it on a different level.”
Sheridan’s prediction based on Jackson’s remarks: So if Stu sticks with his own precedents, it’s going to be bad news for a Boston front line already undermanned and undersized, because Perkins, the C’s starting center, is going to be watching Sunday’s Game 4 from somewhere other than the Amway Arena.
Sheridan has a point, but I think the precedent is more complicated than “elbow to head” = suspension. Again, see Matt Moore’s take on HP.
Perk’s take, also via Sheridan: “I was just trying to fight through a screen…It wasn’t like I was trying to hurt him or elbow him in his mouth or nothing like that. I was just trying to fight through the screen and ended up hitting him.”
And here’s Pietrus, playing the victim of a heinous basketball crime: “I was just trying to set a regular pick. I didn’t even try to set it hard. I just came in and then, boom. I was surprised, but that’s what he does — physicality. I’m glad the referees seen it and caught it.”
On the Magic’s 59 percent shooting:
• Doc in the Globe does his best to both blame the C’s and credit the Magic: “Our defense was awful,” said coach Doc Rivers. “They made every shot. I thought they were the aggressor for the entire night and we were the retaliators the entire night. We were running into picks. Didn’t communicate well…A team that led the NBA in field goal percentage and is supposed to be a great defensive team, we sure didn’t act that way tonight. Give them credit. They did some great things.”
• Rondo in the same story: “Terrible tonight. We just didn’t play well at all defensively.”
• Perk: “They got to wherever they wanted to go. They were comfortable. They got in every post position they wanted to. They made shots. They had wide-open looks. I thought we played hard, but we didn’t play smart. So, it hurts.”
• In the Herald, Perk adds: “Eighty percent of that was us and 20 percent them. We didn’t play Celtics defense tonight. We didn’t value the ball. All of those things have to change by Game 4.”
• Pierce with some more technical analysis, in the Globe: “We didn’t defend the pick and roll and that’s not something we’ve done for a long time. We weren’t aggressive with our shows and getting up into guys, we allowed them to come up into picks and find Howard.
On the Celtics offensive woes…
• Ron Borges sets the unofficial record for use of the word “truth” in a Pierce story, in which he essentially argues Pierce must pick his game up for the C’s to win this series. Money excerpt:
Last night, Paul Pierce aka “The Truth,” had the least relevant 27-point scoring night in NBA playoff history. That’s the truth about a guy who has not, for one reason or another, been The Truth since the playoffs began. He’s been a shadow.
Pierce insists he’s healthy, although admittedly beaten up a bit at this time of year. That might or might not be the truth about The Truth. That’s his story, but his inconsistent play seems to say otherwise.
• From the same story, Doc with an explanation (kind of) for Pierce’s “struggles”: “We got to do a better job of getting him space. He’s doing a little bit of what he did in Chicago. He’s driving too deep. Getting deep with (Dwight) Howard standing around isn’t necessarily the best move.”
• Doc with a fantastic quote about the Game 3 offense from the same Borges story: “Eddie’s almost our go-to guy,” Rivers said. “I don’t like that.”
• Doc on Dwight Howard’s block party, also in the Herald: “I don’t know if those were all blocks,” Rivers said with a slight smile. “That’s a matter of debate. I thought half of them were blocks. But he’s tremendous – a freak. We know that.