8. Kendrick Perkins | C | Age: 27 | #NBARank: 120It's pretty obvious that I fall in the first group. I love Perk. I see Perk's value to a team that goes way beyond the box score and beyond what most players are measured by. And I absolutely agree that you don't cross Perk. And, Perk is most appreciated and missed when you don't have him any more. Be careful Thunder. Appreciate this guy and keep him because if you let him go, you'll realize too late that the first group is definitely right.
Somehow, a defensive-minded, role-playing center has become Oklahoma City’s most polarizing player. There are the Perk apologists, the ones that revere his toughness, his screen-setting, intangibles, his locker room presence, his leadership and all of that other crap. There are the Perk haters, the ones that gripe about his clumsy plodding, about his complete lack of any offensive ability, about how overrated he is as a defender and a rebounder.
And then there’s the middle, where I fall. You always have to take Perk for what he is. If you expect more, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment and anger. He’s a bad offensive player that is only useful for a hard screens, easy dunks and an occasional slick touch-pass. He’s a strong bruiser that definitely sets a defensive tone inside and holds teammates accountable. You don’t cross Perk. I’ve seen it up close and in person. You. Don’t. Do. It.
His value comes in extremes. Against Andrew Bynum, Marc Gasol and Dwight Howard, there might not be a better post defender. Against a fleet-footed smallball unit, he struggles. And that’s not on him always. It’s often on Scott Brooks to make sure he’s putting Perk in situations he can succeed in. It’s not fair to take blind man and ask him to find Waldo. There’s an Einstein quote that says, “Everybody’s a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing its stupid.” Applicable to Perk.
Sometimes Perk excels against all odds, like he did the final four games against the Spurs. But for the most part, he’s a specialist, best deployed against a dominant post. Use him wisely and he’s a tremendous asset that few teams have. Just blindly run him out against any lineup with the expectation he’s going to do his job all the same and you’re going to be forced to gripe. The question isn’t about his rebounding or scoring or whatever. It’s about if he contributes to winning. Are the Thunder better off with him on the floor, or without him? That’s the bar you should judge Perk by. The answer? Depends on who he’s guarding.
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Perk is Ranked at #8 on Thunder
Daily Thunder is ranking the Thunder players from 15 on down to 1. Perk falls in at #8.