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Kendrick Perkins Finally Playing at Full Strength for Thunder: A Fan’s Take
Sometime in the last two weeks, Kendrick Perkins finally came to life for the Oklahoma City Thunder. When the team traded for him in 2011, he showed up out of shape, coming off a knee injury, and looked really bad heading into the postseason. I heard people call him a flop.
When he showed up for preseason after the NBA lockout, he was slim and trim, dropping a ton of weight, and claimed he was healed up and ready to contribute. Through the first half of the season, his numbers were still down but the politically correct response was that Perkins' contributions couldn't be seen on the stat sheet because what he does is make the other team's struggle in the paint.
He was a dominating presence but not so much a good hand for rebounds and scoring. That was then and this is now.
Over his last seven games, Perkins has five double-digit rebound efforts. Before that, he had three total on the entire season. His rebounding numbers over that time is 13, 10, 9, 11, 11, 5 and 14. The 14 rebounds are a season high. That is an average of 10.4 a game over the last seven. The Thunders' leading rebounder for the season is Kevin Durant with 7.9. Serge Ibaka averages 7.5.
However, if Perkins keeps this up he will pass both those players. Perkins is also tearing it up with blocks as well. He has a block in all seven of those games, with a high of six against the New Orleans Hornets on Feb. 20. He is averaging 1.8 blocked shots a game. Ibaka is averaging 2.7 but he is superhuman in that stat category.
The point is that Perkins has finally found his game for the first time since coming to Oklahoma City from the Boston Celtics. He is finally playing like the player the team hoped he could be when they sent Jeff Green off to bring him in. If this is the same Kendrick Perkins that played for the Celtics in their NBA Finals runs, the Thunder just got that much more dangerous.
Author Shawn S. Lealos has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma (2000) and is an avid sports fan that has lived in Oklahoma for over 40 years. He used to religiously follow the Dallas Mavericks until Oklahoma City found a team to call their own.
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