I get upset when I see calls for the Thunder to amnesty Perk. Thunder Rumblings covers the subject today. Perk doesn't fill up the stat sheet, but anyone who watches what he does in games realizes that he is crucial to the success of this team. Scott Brooks is one of those people who knows the importance of having Perk on the team.
And, when a player sets great screens, one of his teammates is open and that will be Russ or KD for the score. Perk also boxes out. That leaves the lane open for a teammate to grab a rebound. The Celtics found out that life after Perk wasn't easy. They still haven't replaced that toughness that he brings - even with KG on the team. This is one of those cases where Thunder fans who call for the team to amnesty Perk don't know what they've got till it's gone.
Asked Monday morning if there is a competition to start at center, Thunder coach Scott Brooks said: “No. Perk is doing exactly everything we want him to do. He anchors our defense, sets great picks, does a lot of good things that a lot of guys don’t do that you never really get credit for. Hash has played well, too. We have two good players in that spot that help us, that impact the game in ways the stat sheet doesn’t show. No, there’s no competition.”
Brooks is well-aware of Perkins detractors. “The good thing about that is the people don’t make the decision,” Brooks said of fans who want the Thunder to part ways with Perkins. “I look at what he does for us and I get to see it every day. … What he does day in and day out is perfect for what we need. We’re not going to go to him and say, ‘Perk, you need 12 points tonight.’ That’s not how we win. He has to continue to bring that toughness, bring that spirit every night, and he does it. He sets great screens. Unfortunately nobody keeps track of that, including myself, but my eye tells me he sets great screens.”
It's no surprise that many Celtics fans want him back. Many are fans who complained about the lack of numbers in the box score when he was in Boston. But after he was gone, they realized that Perk brings so much more to the team than stats. If the Thunder made the mistake of letting Perk go, I'm sure the Celtics would gladly welcome him back. As for Perk, he's happy now in OKC.
Though some Celtics fans wouldn’t mind seeing him back in Boston, Perkins said he is fully committed to the Thunder. “I’m there. I feel good with these guys,” Perkins said. “From the day I got there the whole organization and city embraced me, so it’s been great.”