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Celtics Morning Joe: Perk gives Westbrook a wake up call

Posted by shawn cassidy on September 19, 2011 at 12:10 PM


Recently a story had been  reported that Perk has been on Westbrook's back. The reason is simple Westbrook doesn't comapre to Perk's buddy Rajon Rondo. Isn't Perk stating a fact here. The only verbal comment that had been used from the story is that Westbrook isn't able to be a playmaker like Rondo. Is Perk trying to be like KG getting on his team? Is he taking the role of vocal leader on the Thunder. I hope Perk holds his teammates accountable in OKC,but please do it wisely.Fot the Thunder to become title contenders they need all hands on deck,and that includes a healthy Perk,and a better playmaker in Westbrook.

As much as coach Scott Brooks chafes at GM Sam Presti's meddling, his presence in the locker room, and his demands that the Thunder continue to improve from within, the organization is a lot more concerned with how Kendrick Perkins treats Russell Westbrook.

After arriving from the Celtics last season and being looked at as the veteran leader Oklahoma City needed to take the next step to compete for a title, Perkins went hard at Westbrook with his verbal criticisms, often saying that the Thunder's playmaker couldn't match Rajon Rondo as a playmaker. Those words didn't sit well with Westbrook, who already had been criticized for shooting too much and was the subject of a benching heard-round-the-NBA when the Thunder played the Mavs in June.

The Thunder gave Perkins a new four-year deal worth $35 million, so the team is committed to him. But it would like him to ease up on Westbrook. A lot.


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Reply paul
1:08 PM on September 19, 2011 
Isn't it interesting that the one person who has caught the most heat over The Trade has been Kendrick Perkins? Here is a guy who has really done nothing but work as hard as he can to overcome injury, trying his best to help two teams to win a championship, but talk about being between a rock and a hard place!

We all know that Kendrick is a very mediocre talent. In the old days, say, back in Cowens' day, he would have made a good backup center for a good team, I'd say. But this isn't the old days. What he does for a team, very few guys seem to do now, and that makes him a very valuable guy. He's the intimidator, who sets picks and anchors a defense, and does all the dirty work, day in and day out. I'm not a huge Kendrick Perkins fan, because I think Rondo needs to have a guy with offensive skills in the pivot, but I certainly appreciate that he is every bit the lunch pail guy he claims to be.

But he's been slagged over and over and over again since The Trade. Many Celtic fans and writers seem to claim that Danny HAD to trade Perkins, because he was such a scrub to begin with, because he was injured and because he was making outrageous contract demands. Of course, his contract demands were not outrageous at all. In fact, it's become clear in retrospect that the Celtics ownership are the ones who are pushing outrageous contract demands, as some kind of general principle! And if he was injured, he was trying as hard as he could to come back from it and play through it. But it didn't matter. The Celtics media circus and fandom seem firmly committed to the idea that IT WAS ALL PERKINS FAULT!

Of course, Danny didn't HAVE to trade Perkins. Trading Perk was a highly inadvisable move that he insisted on. Two of the linchpins in Danny's defense of The Trade, Shaq and Doc, have both now distanced themselves from it, but we didn't need that to know that it was a reckless move, not a necessary one.
Reply paul
1:19 PM on September 19, 2011 
But what is even weirder is that Perkins isn't just blamed for The Trade. He's also blamed for the Thunder not winning a championship! Now wait, were the Thunder considered to be serious contenders for a championship before The Trade? Ah, no. SO HOW CAN PERKINS HAVE COST THEM A CHAMPIONSHIP? Of course, he didn't. Perkins helped the Thunder get as far as they did, despite his injury struggles.

And if the Thunder were expecting Perkins to be a diplomatic, soft-spoken locker-room leader, they had to have been crazy. Were they that crazy? Of course not. They knew they were getting a rough-talking, volatile guy. If Perkins gave Westbrook a hard time for not getting the ball to Durant and not being a good enough playmaker, he was only pointing out what everyone else in the NBA was observing. Nobody is denying that Westbrook is a very talented player, but he seems to have little idea how to run an offense, and he seems to compete with Kevin Durant for the offensive spotlight, which is understandable, considering that Kevin Durant may be one of the best scorers the league has ever seen...

I like the way you put it in your title, Shawn. Westbrook seriously needs a wakeup call. It's great that you have some impressive offensive chops yourself, Russell, but get the ball to your scorer.
Reply Franklin
1:35 PM on September 19, 2011 
Perk isn't a scrub. I don't think he's even over payed in OKC,but like you said Paul. Rondo needs a scorer in the pivot.
Reply Atones
1:40 PM on September 19, 2011 
I think Danny shouldn't have traded Perk,and he's not a scrub,but Danny might have gambled on this one too much. The Celtics had a chance,and he should have been concerned with the 2011 season,and not beyond. When you have a team ready for a title you don't mess it up like Danny did.
Reply paul
3:24 PM on September 19, 2011 
Atones says...
I think Danny shouldn't have traded Perk,and he's not a scrub,but Danny might have gambled on this one too much. The Celtics had a chance,and he should have been concerned with the 2011 season,and not beyond. When you have a team ready for a title you don't mess it up like Danny did.

Doc himself said that the timing was the problem, which it really was. How do you trade off your starting center on the verge of the playoffs? I could have seen doing it if it was for Dwight Howard! As you say, Franklin, Rondo needs a scorer in the post, but that's about the only move that would have made sense to me at that point in time.