Kendrick Perkins: 5 Reasons the Boston Celtics Need Perkins Back

Joye Pruitt@hoopselectSenior Analyst IFebruary 23, 2012

Kendrick Perkins: 5 Reasons the Boston Celtics Need Perkins Back

0 of 5

    The frustration that the Boston Celtics are experiencing is even more devastating than it was after an aching loss to the Miami Heat in the second round of the 2011 NBA playoffs.

    That was a given. Even though LeBron James was not able to ever break away from those demons in Beantown and the Miami Heat had been criticized for not being in sync enough to contribute equally to the cause at hand, they were better than the Celtics last year.

    The accumulation of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh is a trio that would still be taken well over the Big Three compiled in Boston. Age plays an intriguing factor in what Boston has not been able to do as much as the underlying commitment issues from Danny Ainge and the Celtics front office.

    Their decisions have been questionable, and one that sits at the forefront of Boston’s confusion is incontrovertibly the trade of Kendrick Perkins to the OKC Thunder for Nenad Krstic and Jeff Green.

    Doc Rivers and countless Boston players and fans were emotional at the whim of Perkins’ exit. There was no disdain for his former franchise, as he sat in a regular old hotel room watching his once-upon-a-time teammates battle through chemistry controversy. There was immense confusion, hurt and bewilderment that he was even an option.

    As a fundamental tangible for Boston, who only had the likes of the O’Neals, Jermaine and an aging Shaquille, to fall back on, Perkins was removed at the most inopportune time in a crucial last run for the Celtics. Boston could still right their wrongs.

    Perkins, although not exactly LeBron-esque about his desire to return to the Celtics, would undoubtedly jump at the chance to play for the men that he had been through the trenches with.

    There were personal relationships developed there, but there was a professional respect among veterans that seems far different than Perkins’ role in Oklahoma City.

    Boston needs him back. They may have felt that they could ultimately move forward with the cast assembled at the beginning of the season, but it has become painfully true that they need him more than ever. Egos aside, Ainge must realize that he was wrong for so many reasons. 

Boston Celtics Rebounds Per: 39.0, 30th in the League

1 of 5

    A team that feeds off of their ability to force flourishing offenses into a stagnant demeanor, has found themselves at the bottom of the food chain.

    The Boston Celtics are a defensive-minded squad to the utmost.

    Ray Allen provides them a comfy option behind the three, but with defenses crowding his lanes and forging a bad shot selection, Boston’s defense is the only sure thing that Doc Rivers has going for his team right now.

    Rebounding is incredibly important when it comes to second-chance opportunities around the rim and possibly even easy fast-break points on the other end of the court.

    Boston does not have the speed to adequately compound success in transition, but with a steady force of nature under the rim, they could become more dangerous in put-backs and creating those foul opportunities that send them to the line.  

    Kendrick Perkins has proven himself with Boston under the hoop and would readily add a dose of reality in the low post for the Celtics, because 39.0 per is just embarrassing when your roster can boast the involvement of Kevin Garnett and Jermaine O’Neal.

    However, with both only being consistent at being inconsistent, Perkins could add a breath of fresh air for Rivers, who has seemingly become used to watching his team excel at great heights only to be brought back down to size. 

Boston’s Starters Falling Like Flies

2 of 5

    Kevin Garnett missed his second game with the Boston Celtics for personal reasons, making his absence reach three in the last four of Boston’s losses.

    Jermaine O’Neal left Monday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks with a sprained wrist.

    Brandon Bass, who started for five games of the 2011 NBA season, began his disappearing act when he missed his first of five games on Feb. 12 against the Chicago Bulls.

    Chris Wilcox, who started for four games this season, suffered a strained right abductor in Monday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks as well.

    Rajon Rondo was suspended for two games for tossing a ball at the referee after a foul had been called. Who’s left?

    Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and former Purdue standout Jajuan Johnson were aimlessly attempting to keep the Celtics afloat against the Dallas Mavericks Monday night. Johnson has been given increased minutes throughout his rookie season, but he is not nearly prepared enough to operate in Rivers’ system to the level that a playoff run would require.

    The Boston Celtics are operating half-staffed, and they are in trouble—big trouble. Bringing Kendrick Perkins back into the fold could increase the stability in the franchise.

    It might be funny that I speak of stability in reference to a player who publicly bashed LeBron James for giving Blake Griffin kudos for dunking on him. We are also referring to a player who returned to Oklahoma City’s lineup Sunday after missing a single game with a knee injury.

    However, somehow Boston’s situation calls for his newly achieved veteran leadership and his new body. Perkins’ commitment to a renewed physique in such a messy offseason shows monuments about his dedication to the game and giving his all even as his career begins to come to an end.

    Perkins is on the downslope of his years in the league, but he is definitely an asset to not be taken for granted. 

Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo War for Boston’s First Option

3 of 5

    It may not seem as if Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo are having issues on the surface.

    On the court, the two appear to be compatible.

    There are no arguments as we have seen with the OKC Thunder between Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant.

    On scores, there appears to be the NBA-average pat on the butt and a hop-skip-jump back down the court.

    Each seemingly has the other’s support—unwaveringly even.

    That is until you look at how each man plays the game with an apparent disregard for the other.

    Once again, without peeling back the top layer, you would assume that all of this was in my head. But how many times have you seen Rondo sprint down the court and either have to drive down the middle, splitting defenders in the process for an acrobatic layup or waiting for Pierce or the aging Ray Allen to catch wind of his direction?

    More often than not, Rondo is sitting under the basket waiting for a play to unfold that should have been manufactured seconds before. The starting Boston point guard has plenty of knocks, including the fact that he can still be immature at times during the game, he is not so much of a scoring threat and he is not a good fit with Pierce in Rivers’ system.

    In actuality, it is time for Boston’s front office to give up the dream that was once Pierce in Boston headlines. The veteran definitely deserves a nod of greatness for everything he has done for the franchise, but he has to accept that Rondo is moving in as one of Boston’s sure things.

    Bring Kendrick in!

    Rondo’s best friend and confidante will make his voice heard and will bring Boston back to being contenders instead of being bitter recipients of what countless physicality can do to a superstar body.

    Perkins is one of the most outspoken players in the league, and it just may be required of an important player in a struggling organization to make more sense than the general manager. It is obvious that Rondo is improving individually and making the players around him better, when they will allow him to.

    Dealing Rondo will only push Boston further in the wrong direction. They need youth, speed and everything Rondo has to offer. Perkins is just the man to remind them of that. 

Jermaine O’Neal Is Not Boston’s Man

4 of 5

    Jermaine O’Neal is not the man the Boston Celtics need him to be.

    In the Boston Celtics’ first win of the season, O’Neal was the man.

    Not like the man who made a few key offensive rebounds and put-backs.

    O’Neal was the man that looked like his old self—well, his younger self.

    Jermaine was the guy that Boston needed him to be as he dominated a Detroit Pistons team that really does not put up that much of a defensive fight in the first place, at least not in their front line. O’Neal was battling against Greg Monroe and Jonas Jerebko.

    Monroe is a bit of a meek-minded player under the rim until he gets a fire lit under his behind, and Jerebko is capable of major offense. Neither one is an expert at defensively getting at a veteran team like the Boston Celtics.

    So, attribute O’Neal’s breakout game to a rejuvenated specimen, but also a lack of competitive edge in the opposition. But Boston has to take the good news when it comes, no matter how short-lived.

    Jermaine O’Neal’s greatness is one of those short-lived attributes that Boston was forced to watch speed away along with their aspirations of finishing at the top of the Eastern Conference.

    Every team is not Detroit, and O’Neal is not going to be the same man he was in Indiana. Of course that is reaching back a ways, but that is who Boston needs right now. Will the old yet more versatile Jermaine O’Neal please stand up?!  (Crickets)

    O’Neal cannot battle under the rim like he used to and score and breathe and all the other things that Boston expects him to do. He is no longer the multi-tasker they need.

    Kendrick Perkins, on the other hand, is exactly what the doctor ordered. Even if the responsibilities are shared, Perkins could take over where O’Neal has constantly come up short.

    Perkins bangs in the middle with a vengeance. O’Neal does not.

    Perkins can play those big minutes that O’Neal cannot. The energy level on this squad has most definitely deteriorated, and that came almost immediately after the release of Perkins from the Boston Celtics lineup.

    Perkins’ size automatically makes him more dominant in the middle. 

Boston Will Never Land Dwight Howard

5 of 5

    Boston is a little late in the race for Dwight Howard, and his sights seem set on two places in particular—New Jersey Nets or Los Angeles Lakers.

    Of course, there are a bunch of other names floating around, and Derrick Rose makes one heck of a case in Chicago, but it appears that if Howard were to be moved, the Nets or the Lakers would be ideal landing spots for him and for the Magic organization.

    Where does Boston stand in any of this—on the outside looking in?

    The Celtics do not have any bargaining chips to offer Orlando in a possible trade for the league’s truest big man.

    Who would they ship off? Kevin Garnett? Paul Pierce? Ray Allen, who would only compound upon the three-point drillers they have on their squad? Jermaine O’Neal? Brandon Bass, who they switched for Glen “Big Baby” Davis initially?

    I am pretty sure there is no need to cascade through the rest of Boston’s roster. None of those pieces would be the equivalent of Dwight Howard, and Ainge has to know this. If you don’t know, now you know!

    So why not bring in a player like Kendrick Perkins, who may not afford the massive amount of offense Howard does, but has the power and the basketball IQ to be a great role player? Boston does not have bargaining chips to land a superstar, but they can bring in role players who will get the job done collectively.

    The Alpha Male battle in Boston is already pitting Rondo’s style of play against the aging Big Three’s. There is no need to bring another ego into the mix to further complicate their strides to the postseason.

    Perkins would be stepping into the situation comfortably and already with a defined position in the organization. It would be like the perfect re-marriage.

    And they say sequels suck. Hmph!