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The Sports Daily > Red's Army
Your Morning Dump… Where Perk is coming back home

Perkins

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.

Perkins admits coming back to Boston is bittersweet. He’s happy in Oklahoma City (“Our locker room is locked in,” Perkins said) but admits a part of him believes those Celtics teams had unfinished business.

“There’s always going to be a ‘what if’ in me,” Perkins said. “We never lost a playoff series. You wish you could have had a chance to redeem yourself with the team but it’s a business, and it has been good be able to come to another great situation. But the ‘what if’ is always in the back of your mind.”

Perkins says he has thought a lot about how he will be received by the Boston crowd.

“I’m kind of nervous,” Perkins said. “I don’t know what to expect. It’s not like I have been around the league. I came there as an 18-year-old out of high school and was a Celtic for eight years. We went through the good times, the bad times, and the city really embraced me. I got close to a lot of people in that city and it was really hard to leave.

“Going back for the first time, I don’t know what to expect. My approach is I want to win the game, but at the same time it is kind of hard with so many friends on the other side. Can I really be Perk out there? Can I really play my style? [Kevin Garnett] is my mentor. Ray [Allen] and Paul [Pierce] are my friends. Doc, we have a father-son relationship. [Rajon] Rondo, we talk every day. It’s going to be hard.”

SI.com – New and improved Perkins nervously awaits return to Boston

The ovation will be thunderous. Perk’s return to the Garden is going to be a cool moment.

But…

I’ll never truly understand the post-trade affinity for Kendrick Perkins. While Celtics fans certainly appreciated his work, defense and toughness, I believe he was more maligned than loved during his time here. The criticisms were plenty; the illegal screens, the technical fouls, and the inability to get off a shot quickly in the post. Even when he played his best game, Perk largely went unnoticed. 

The Perkins trade is more a symbol of the Celtics demise than a direct cause. While I won’t rehash the pros/cons of the deal, I recommend reading Chris Mannix’ entire article. Hell, even Perk understands the logic behind the move. There’s no denying the results were disasterous. The Celtics have yet to fill Perk’s shoes and Jeff Green has been MIA (for poor play and health-related reasons).

Perk’s in a great situation now. He’s a key contributor on a great team who will likely win another NBA championship in the coming years.  Good luck, Perk.

Related links: Globe – Tender moments for Perk | CSNNE – Perkins set to return to Garden | Herald – Celtics stars fondly recall Perk | ESPN Boston – The curse of Perk

On Page 2, Paul Pierce is a step faster than he was last week.

“It’s hard to put a number on that. I don’t know,” Pierce said. “I’d probably say a couple of weeks. I definitely see a difference now. I’m a step faster than I was a week ago.

“It’s going to come. Like I said when I first came back, there were going to be some inconsistencies from a lack of practice. But with the more repetitions I get in games, it’s going to be better for my ballclub.”

Herald – Paul Pierce gauges fitness

The Truth still looks about 2 steps behind. Here’s hoping he’s running at full speed in two weeks.

Unfortunately, the team might not win another game until then.

The rest of the links:

CSNNE – Rondo, Westbrook clash | Ryan, Maxwell discuss state of the Celtics | ESPN Boston – 3 up, 3 down | NBC Sports – If KG doesn’t turn it around, neither will Boston | CBS Sports – Thunder/Celtics preview

(Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)