The OKC Thunder were in the Finals last year and once again boast one of the league's best teams. Our old friend Kendrick Perkins is their starting center. This only makes sense to us here in Boston. Ever since The Trade, we've expected Perkins to bring his trademark snarl, defense, and leadership to the Thunder and make them better than they were before him. Yet, it doesn't seem that all of Oklahoma City fans really "get" Perkins.
The following is the lead in blurb to an article that is actually defending Perkins as their starting center.
It's the eternal question. Why is Kendrick Perkins playing as our starting center, eating away almost 25 minutes a game? What does he really bring to the table?
Oof. That's not Perk love.
He later states that "Public opinion about Perk has swayed from total love to almost universal hate."
The article actually goes on to give a very fair assessment of his strengths and weaknesses. We all knew his limitations in Boston, but we knew that he was really good at things that you need a center to be really good at.
Fact is, Kendrick Perkins is one of the league's best help defenders in the lane. He does a good job of avoiding needless fouls (he averages only 2.5 a game), and his communication with Serge Ibaka is excellent. According to Synergy, he's the 5th best pick and roll defender in the league in terms of points per possession, and the 15th best defender overall.
So while Perkins isn't going to fill a stat sheet or even look marginally comfortable handling a basketball, he's the kind of guy that you can and should be able to win with. And if the OKC faithful can't see that, then I'd be happy to take him back.