Kendrick Perkins’ goal on his first day of full contact was brutally basic. Take a hit, or give one out, as quickly as possible, and try not to think about that surgically repaired left shoulder. By the end of yesterday’s practice, coach Doc Rivers already had charted a trend involving his starting center. "Two or three players went down today, and Perk always seemed to be the guy standing nearby when it happened," Rivers said. Perkins, who is expected to play in his first exhibition game tonight against the Cavaliers in Pittsburgh, also was the player bounding around the court yesterday like a kid who just had been let out of school.
"Perk fouled a couple people hard," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "He threw a couple elbows. I saw three or four people grabbing their face and saying, 'Wow, Perk must be back.' So that's what he does.
"Obviously, he was winded, but I was still impressed with how he got up and down the floor. He looked pretty good."
"If Perk said he's going to play, he's going to play," Rivers said. "Who am I to fight Perk? I don't know how much, but he'll play."
"One thing Perk adds is know-how," Rivers said. "It's amazing watching him and Kevin. Kevin is better because Perk is on the floor, because they know each other so well. Kevin knows exactly what Perk's role is and Perk knows exactly where Kevin is going to be. They have amazing chemistry and we can take advantage of that.
"I thought toward the end of the year it was much better, and in the playoffs they got even better. We could have won Game 5 [against the Lakers], but we clearly missed Perk. When he showed back up, the difference he made was amazing in Game 6. Kevin is a good defender but with Perk he is really good."