I mentioned to Lex the other day how I thought that Perk could be the MVP of the Celtics. I've been thinking a bit more about that. Going back to the 2008 Finals, in games 1-4 and 6, the Celtics dominated inside and the Lakers vaunted bigs (Bynum, Odom, and Gasol) were almost invisible. Then in Game 5, all 3 of their bigs dominated inside. The difference? Perk missed that game.
In 2010, the Celtics were poised to claim another title when Perk went down in game 6. In Game 7, the Celtics were outplayed inside and on the boards and they were edged out by the Lakers (and the Refs). In 2011, the Celtics were playing well. Perk was just back from the injury and then he was traded. And the team went down hill and just couldn't seem to pull it together. It was quite evident that, even though he hadn't played the beginning of the year, the team missed Perk. They knew what Danny gave away and it hurt the chemistry and mindset of the team. Ubuntu was destroyed. The Celtics have tried to replace him ever since and still haven't been able to do so.
On the other hand, from the time that Perk joined the Thunder, they have improved and have become one of the top contenders for a title. They were good before the trade, but now they are considered a great team. The difference between then and now is simply the addition of Perk. Whether anyone else will admit it, Perk is so much more valuable to the team than any box score shows. Perk is my MVP. (Most Valuable Perk)
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