In case you haven't noticed, Kendrick Perkins has been on fire lately. Not only is he maintaining his solid work on the defensive end, he's putting up points like he's never done before. I was going to write an article on him but it seems like everyone else in the world has beat me to it. So I'll just remind you that I wrote a lengthy about Perkins this offseason and quote a number of articles that have come out in the last 24 hours or so. Enjoy.
Perkins has already scored in double figures 12 times in 18 games, compared with 30 times in 76 games last season. "Perk is just taking his time,’’ Garnett said. "I think he’s doing greater at what’s been given to him. I think at the same time he’s taking his time. Offense is just patience. And letting the defense react. "You have to be a lot more aggressive at finishing. He’s been focused on catching the ball and just finishing. He’s definitely growing as a player.’’
Parish loves to watch Perkins for the simple reason that the youngster reminds him of the way the game used to be played, when big men were paint-oriented. "He’s definitely a throwback," Parish said. "Back then, there would have been a place for him, because he’s the kind of player who does things that don’t show up on the stat sheet. But you can tell he wants the ball now. He has a lot more confidence from his teammates." Perhaps Perkins’ most vocal advocate, and one of his closest friends, is the player primarily responsible for getting him the ball: Rajon Rondo [stats]. "Perk might have the highest field-goal percentage in Celtics history," the Celtics point guard said. "He has more touches (this season). He’s always been efficient with the ball. The more touches he gets, the more efficient he is." Rondo isn’t far off. Perkins, now fourth in the NBA with a .644 shooting percentage, has a career .550 field-goal percentage that is fourth in Celtics history, trailing only Cedric Maxwell (.559), Kevin McHale (.554) and Parish (.552).
As Celtics coach Doc Rivers recently noted, "If you been around here enough, it sometimes felt like it took him forever to get it up. He's a gatherer, that's what we call it. He has to gather the ball to go up. You see him doing drills each day, catch and going up quick. He's doing it better."
In his seventh season, Perkins has established himself as one of the NBA’s best interior defenders. By now most people have caught on that the Celtics often match him up with the opposition’s best offensive big man, which frees up Garnett to be a superior help defender. That should get Perkins votes for the All-Defensive team this season. If he can continue developing his offensive game, Perkins could earn All-Star consideration. Orlando’s Dwight Howard is clearly the best true center in the game, but Perkins is among a handful of players in the East who could emerge for a second spot. It’s still a longshot at this point, but he deserves to be in the conversation.
Before you dismiss the question about Perk being an All Star, consider the competition on the All Star ballot in the East. Bargnani, Bogut, Chandler, Dalembert, Horford, Howard, Lopez, Miller, J. O'Neal, S. O'Neal, Perkins, and Rasheed Wallace. I think Perkins probably misses the cut, but not by a lot.