The depressing news comes via ESPN.com’s Chris Sheridan:
Perkins was hopeful, saying: “I’m going to try to give it a go [on Thursday].” But a team source told ESPN.com’s Chris Sheridan: “He’s done.”
Perkins underwent X-rays during the Lakers’ 89-67 win that tied the series at 3. He suffered sprains to both his medial collateral ligament and posterior cruciate ligament, sources told ESPN The Magazine’s Ric Bucher. The team said that Perkins will be re-evaluated on Wednesday, which likely means an MRI to ascertain the extent of the damage.
More than anything, I feel for Perk. With all the irate talk—from fans on both sides wearing green and gold-colored glasses—about which team has the worst floppers, the series now loses one player who is indisputably not a flopper. He’s nasty, he gets too many technicals, he complains too much, but Kendrick Perkins is one bad mother, and I’m proud he’s a Celtic. It is always sad when a core player has to miss a crucial game, the sort of game for which he has prepared his entire career.
And guess who has the best unadjusted plus/minus on the entire team in the playoffs?
That would be Perk, according to Basketball Value. The team is about 8 points better per 100 possessions with Perk on the floor versus with him on the bench, and it is performing better on both sides of the ball with Perk in the line-up.
Giant caveats: The sample size is small (23 games now), and Perk’s adjusted plus/minus (which seeks to adjust for quality of teammates, opponents and other factors) is basically neutral. But the trend is the same in the regular season numbers. The team was loads better offensively and defensively with Perk on the floor, but his adjusted plus/minus is neutral.
Get well, Perk. The team will need you next season, too.
The Lakers are dealing with their own ailing center, Sheridan reports.
It sounds like Bynum will give it a go in Game 7, but his best moments in this series may be behind him:
“[Bynum] wasn’t able to move very fluidly the second half,” said Lakers coach Phil Jackson. “He had some tightness in the back of his leg. He just said, ‘You’ve got to take me out. I can’t run.’ And it was obvious at that point that he couldn’t. He had some swelling in the back of his leg, and we’ll have to work on that and see if they can’t ice it down and control that.”
Also: Rondo got four stitches to his chin after the shot he took from Artest.
Bottom line: Both teams are banged up, and there’s one game left in the season to determine the NBA champion. The C’s are underdogs now. Do they have one special effort left in them?