Perkins is done, but the Celtics are not...
Boston Celtics center Kendrick Perkins told reporters at Wednesday’s media session that he tore two ligaments in his right knee in Tuesday’s NBA Finals Game 6 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers and will play in Thursday’s decisive Game 7.
This is bad news for the Boston Celtics and their faithful fan base. He is an inspirational leader, a defensive presence, and a cornerstone to this year’s playoff run.
The odds opened at Diamond Sportsbook at LA Lakers -7 , but as expected, the line has jumped up and down.
The best line available on the Celtics is +7 at most of the Top Ten Online Sportsbooks. Make sure to keep checking them as this line will move with the recent injury news.
Although Perkins is out for Game 7, all hope is not lost.
After hearing about Perkins, Celtics coach Doc Rivers told his players that this would give someone an opportunity to step up. The veteran team is the right group to respond to such a challenge.
Perkins may be out, but he can still help the team. There are reports that he stayed up with Rajon Rondo until 3 am to review the Lakers defense. He then provided an inspirational message to Glen "Big Baby" Davis, attempting to inspire him into playing to the best of his abilities.
Perkins essentially becomes a second coach and a motivational figure as the team tries to win one for the big guy.
It has not been announced yet, but my guess is Rasheed Wallace will start Game 7. He is older and has lost a step since his days in Detroit, but he lives for moments and games like this one.
'Sheed likes to be the guy called upon to win a game. He brings much more offense to the game than Perkins would, while still keeping the defense aggressive. Wallace has not shown much during the regular season, but in this situation, he will rise to the occasion.
Andrew Bynum is not healthy and will play limited minutes in Game 7. This puts the Perkins loss basically at a wash anyways.
Kevin Garnett will be asked to play a stronger defensive role in the game. Like Wallace, KG has shown his age of late, but again: big players rise to big occasions. Garnett has held the title of NBA defensive player of the year so he knows something about playing defense.
The loss of Kendrick Perkins is massive, but I am not ready to count the Celtics out just yet.