If there’s one man in the C’s locker room that you can count on to give you an honest assessment of this team’s performance, it’s Kendrick Perkins. The guy is candid, blunt, and a tough evaluator of himself and his teammates’ play. Just another reason to love the guy, who is gutting it out through some painful tendinitis right now.
So while other members of the C’s roster and Doc Rivers were (rightfully) gripping about the disparity in free throws last night, Perk pulled no such card in his post game reaction. Instead, he delivered the cold truth on his team’s defensive execution in this one:
“Frustrating game, thought we played bad on the defensive end tonight. Guys missed assignments that were suppose to be there, a lot of missed assignments tonight add up to a 6 or 7 point loss. They got to the line whenever, we just fouled, we were late on rotations, so we didn’t play no defense tonight.”
When asked about the free throw disparity, Perk gave credit to The Thunder, rather than complaining about the calls.
“Nah, they were being aggressive. I thought Durant was a crafty player. He’s a scorer in this league, he’s averaging almost 30, he gets to the line, he did what he had to do. Everyone else fed off of him.”
On how his injury has affected him on the floor the past few weeks, again making no excuses:
“You know, a lot of people play with injuries. If I’m out there, I’m out there. A lot of people have bumps and bruises here and there too.”
More from Perk and final thoughts on this contest, after the jump.
On how can team improve it’s fourth quarter defense:
“Like I said, it was just a few missed assignments that hurt us. It was guys that were suppose to be there to help, weren’t there. We weren’t talking on the floor enough, just too worried about scoring rather than the defensive end.”
Man, I love Perk. Like I said folks, that’s a straight shooter right there. The Thunder played a terrific offensive game, but the C’s couldn’t get the stops when they needed to, late. No need to sugarcoat it.
And for the record. Perk sat out the entire fourth quarter. Sheed played a great game for once, so I’m not trying to knock him. However, don’t think Perk’s presence out there wouldn’t have helped on the defensive end. If Sheed’s on, hopefully Doc goes back to offense/defense substitutions down the stretch.
The good news about last night:
*C’s went 41 of 60 from 2 point range to show an astounding 68.3 percent from 2 point range. That’s a terrific number. Perhaps more importantly, 28 of those field goals came in the paint.
All of these numbers are great signs. The C’s offense was attacking and attacking well against a top 10 in the league Thunder defense. We know this team can play D, it’s the offense that has been the bigger consistent problem. Seeing some rhythm last night, was a good sign.
* 17 of 20 shooting in the 2nd quarter. Amazing.
The Bad News:
* This team needs to shoot that well from 2 point range, as they revert into a below average 3 point shooting team (34.4 percent, 18th in league). For a team that relied so much on the 3 ball last year, that number needs to come up when the playoffs arrive for them to have any shot at advancing. Last night, without Paul and Ray hitting (1 of 8 from deep combined) that was one of the differences.
* 8 Turnovers in the 1st quarter last night. That can’t happen. Luckily, C’s cleaned things up afterwards, finishing with 14.
* 61 points in the 1st half. 43 in the 2nd half. C’s really need to figure out a way to fix these 2nd half woes.
* The bench was great, except Marquis and Nate still have no rhythm going offensively. It’s nice that Doc is giving Daniels another chance here, but he once again showed no real aggressiveness last night. I’ll take TA the rest of the way as a better defender and with more potential offensive upside, since well, this team needs it. TA also attacks the offensive glass well, another valuable resource.
All in all, encouraging performance more than anything else. This team is going to have to put up points in the playoffs in order to compete with the big boys. Last night was a positive sign in showing they could do it, even without the help of the 3 ball.