Looking lean and if at all possible meaner than ever Kendrick Perkins made his return to the Boston Celtic lineup in a 112-95 win against the Cleveland Cavaliers. It was at the 8:02 mark in the first quarter when Perkins entered humbly adjusting his shorts, as he checked in for Semih Erden. The ovation from the Celtic faithful was anything but humble…it was raucous. Perk acknowledged the crowd with a business like wave and seemed as if all he cared about was getting back on the floor to contribute. No frills, no fuss, just business. I love it.
One look at Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce on the Celtic bench could tell you all you needed to know about what his return means to the team. Cheering for him as if he was the 15th man on the roster who never played or like their little brother they jumped up, they screamed, they cursed (as Garnett often does) on seemingly every play associated with Perk. No offense to the Oneals or Delonte West, who will all play important roles this season, but with Perk back I feel like the family is finally back together. Doc Rivers said “I thought bringing Perk back would help us. The guys were excited. They saw how hard he works. He looks great….As the game went on his timing got better (offensively). I thought he was great all night on defense.” Perkins finished with 7pts, 6rebs, and 3ast in 17 minutes.
His return is about a week ahead of schedule and is likely testament to the thin front court the Celtics have suffered with over the last two games. With a tough 4 game west coast trip ahead his return could not be more timely. The 3rd game of the trip is on January 30th in a finals rematch against the Lakers. Perkins on more than one occasion has said had he not injured his knee the outcome of that 7th game would have been different. I don’t doubt it or him one bit. He will have played 4 games before the rematch with L.A. and he probably came back early with that game in mind.
The Cavaliers now losers of 18 straight provided the perfect comeback game for Perk as they too are thin in the front court due to injury. The Portland Trailblazers are next on TNT’s Thursday night late game at 10:30
About the Author
Written by Warren Shaw
I am an avid Basketball fan who has worked for the New York Knicks, Alonzo Mourning Charities and various other sports organizations. Having covered many NBA and various professional sporting events has given me the opportunity to provide insight with an unbiased but flavor driven view. I look forward to providing NBA content and interacting with knowledgeable fans and readers. Follow me on Twitter @shawsports or Email your questions to me at Warrenshaw@prosportsblogging.com