Post-game Reactions

It’s media day here in Waltham and CelticsHub has been live on the scene catching up with everyone from Danny Ainge to Delonte West before the team skips town to Newport for the start of training camp tomorrow.

An endless array of interviews will be forthcoming in the coming hours and day, however the biggest news of the day comes from the C’s center that won’t be suiting up for the start of this season, Kendrick Perkins.

One of the best things about Perk, is he is as candid of an interview you will find on this squad. If something is on his mind, Kendrick isn’t afraid to speak about it, a rarity in this day and age in sports.

Thus, when the topic of Perk reclaiming his starting center job came up in the discussion, number 43 did not mince words proclaiming his ownership of the starting spot, that either Jermaine O’Neal or Shaquille O’Neal will be keeping warm for him, in his opinion:

“I really don’t want to answer that question, because I don’t want to start nothing,” Perkins continued, “but really my spot is not up for grabs. When I come back I will be in my spot, everyone else will just have to adjust.

Spoken like a man with confidenceLet’s remember that all of this speculation started back in August when Danny Ainge first brought up the possibility that Kendrick would have to compete to earn his job back:

“I’m sure Perk’s going to be worried and nervous since we are going to win games with this front line even when he’s not playing. I’ll be sitting with and talking with Kendrick throughout this whole process and hopefully he can get just focus on getting himself healthy and competing for his job back.”

So clearly Danny and Kendrick are not on the same page here. And honestly, that’s fine. Perk is a prideful guy, so he’s well within his rights to believe that job is rightfully his when he regains his health.

The fact of the matter is though, this team struggled a lot offensively last year (15th in offensive efficiency) and Perk was part of the reason why, with his limited offensive repertoire (I’m being kind). To be fair to Perk a lot of his struggles came while he was battling knee tendonitis in the 2nd half of the year, but there’s no question both O’Neals are major upgrades on the offensive end.

Needless to say, this will be a situation to watch as the season unfolds as all the parties involved likely feel they are worthy of the job.

Much more to come this evening from Media Day………….

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Brian Robb

Brian Robb co-founded CelticsHub in 2009 and is the currently editor-in-chief. He is a producer and reporter at 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston and also contributes to Boston.com and Bleacher Report among other outlets.
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  • Batman

    Any chance Perks can evolve to a 20-10 guy?
    Or am i drinking too much of the kool-aid?

  • JP

    Perk should keep the starting Center job no matter what, even with his limited offense, his defense is too important and he has too much chemistry with the starting unit, to put him on the bench. He’d be just as much as an offensive liability on the starting 5 as he is on the bench

  • J

    Everyone says Perk is limited offensively but like Brian pointed out, his offensive production went down during the 2nd half of the season when he suffered from knee tendinitis.
    Lets not forget that for the start of the year and for most of the season, KP was one of the highest in FG%, and during the month of December he was averaging nearly 13PPG. I know that doesn’t sound like much but hes not as bad as everyone makes him sound he is because Jermaine and Shaq both averaged under 14PPG last season.

  • dh

    Perk will be the starter, but of course he will have to prove himself once again. Perk’s defense and rebounding make up for any lack of offense in his game.

  • Jeff

    Perk won’t have to reclaim his starting job in the sense of taking it back, unless the O’Neals start ripping 20-10 nights consistently and the C’s are something obscene like 45-3.

    He will simply need to take steps to moving back into that starting role, as he will not be ready right away in Feb to start playing 30 minutes a night and bashing Dwight into next week. He’ll need to ease back into it. And if he’s not playing at his best then he shouldn’t be starting anyways.

    So while I respect the heck out of Perk, if he doesn’t come back and play at the level that he was playing before, then he is not the starter I’m afraid. If he comes back as good or better than before then yeah he’s the starter. But if his performance could jepordize the C’s chances, then sorry Perk…you’re not bigger than the team. That goes for everyone!

    As for Perk, he’ll never be a 20-10 guy. But, if he can learn to keep the ball up in the air and not get dumb turnovers, including on those high screens (FOR GOD SAKES PERK, WILL YOU PLANT YOUR FEET ALREADY!!!), even though Howard, Bynum, Gasol, and Noah do the exact same thing and don’t get called for it, I could see him getting 15-10-1.5 each night. That would be more than sufficient!

    15 pts out of your defensive backbone ain’t bad! He just needs to work on not taking a dribble off those feeds before going up and dunking. He needs to be more confident and just throw down with authority since he has HORRIBLE touch around the basket.

    I mean if Dwight can score 30 in a night with his nonexistent post game then Perk should be able to throw it down a little better. But that’s just me.

  • This is freakin’ great! If our biggest problem is who is going to start/get minutes between Perk, Shaq and J.O. then we’re in good shape. When was the last time the C’s had 2 legit centers on the bench that could score and grab boards? I love our depth at the 5. It will be the key to us winning some big games-gurranteed. Look forward to seeing you at the Garden again this season BRobb!

  • P.S. forgot to add in reply to Jeff: I have to agree that watching Perk’s offensive demise last year was so frustrating. He started the year off looking like a legit “most-improved” candidate, then he just got worse & worse. Dribbling instead of taking it right up, shuffling the feet for tons of travelling calls..at the time, I thought he was hurt-he just didn’t look right. And now w/his guru (Cliff Ray) gone, who knows how he’ll play. But I’ve alway liked Perk and I have alot of faith that he will get back on track this season..

  • I love Green

    Love this quote from Shaq here:

    “So he’s coming off the bench and I told him, ‘It’s going to be great.’ I told the same thing to Nate [Robinson], Big Baby. I told them, ‘Here we come. We’re the BBM — Boston Bench Mob.'”

    The “he” he’s talking about is Marquis Daniels. Shaq IS embracing the leader of the bench role.

    Now somebody find a way to watch the Celtics training camp!

  • Rangatiratanga

    I will be praying for you Perk, so that when you come back, you will continue to do what you do that made us the best defensive team in the playoffs.
    @Jeff Yeah but D12’s got hmmmm about a 20 inch higher vertical on Perk and he’s got insane athleticism.

    At least Perk’s got a lil baby hook shot,his low post game isn’t the worst in the league either.GET HEALTHY PERK.

  • jonathan

    If Perkins ever averages a 15-10 then I expect you’ll see a lot of Celtics fans very attentive come draft lottery time.

  • Bill

    Anything can happen over the course of a season but it is hard to imagine a scenario where a (healthy) Perkins does not take back this starting spot. This coud, of course, change if he does not come back at 100%

  • NHBluesMan

    one thing i’m excited for is to see if Shaq takes Perk under his wing.

    Perk’s defense has already been talked about (IMO, a top 5 defensive center, if not the best) but imagine if he takes acouple pages from Shaq’s book about offense!

    I love Perk. His work ethic is great, and i’m praying for a full and speedy recovery

  • Kevin

    Main thing is if Perk stops turning the ball over down low on dumb travels he could score 15 to 20 a game. He has got solid brick hands at that. I watched a lot this season thanks to my 2nd job and boy when Rondo drives and dishes it to him and he cant hold on to it it is horrible.

  • MikeN

    Really, both are major upgrades on the offensive end? What did Jermaine shoot in the playoffs last year?