Imagine getting all the way to game seven of the NBA Finals after being overlooked by many people for much of the season and then having to watch from the sidelines. That’s exactly what happened to Kendrick Perkins. Perk tore two knee ligaments in his right knee in game six and it forced him to miss the pivotal game seven. While Perk doesn’t get the kind of recognition of the other four players on the Celtics, he has been a key member of this team, a key cog on defense, and his loss in game seven can’t be overlooked. I don’t know if it would’ve made the difference in the Celtics winning or losing, but Kendrick Perkins is one of the best post defenders in the league and it’s rare when a defender can match up one on one with a guy like Dwight Howard or even Shaquille O’Neal, but Perkins allows the Celtics to do that. The Celtics have heard all the criticism and they will more than likely hear it again this year, but the time the playoffs roll around, you can be sure that Boston will have a say in who represents the East in the Finals.
Kendrick Perkins joined KILT in Houston with Marc and John to talk about how he is recovering from his knee injury, how tough it was to sit out game seven of the NBA Finals, and how he feels about the Miami Heat.
On how he feels in his recovery from his knee injury:
“I’m feeling good. I’m actually at the gym right now getting PT. I’m in physical therapy right now but just taking it one day at a time, just trying to get stronger, and it’s coming along real well. I’m just trying to take it slow, but take it one day at a time.”
On how tough it was to miss game seven of the Finals:
“Think it was probably the worst time of my life. Getting all the way to the Finals, game seven, probably the most important time and I couldn’t be a part of it. You know I had to watch from the sidelines. It was one of the most hurtful feelings. I thought it woulda been better if we woulda won. It woulda made things a whole lot better, but we didn’t and I feel like maybe if I was in there I coulda helped. It’s something that you’re gonna take probably for the rest of your life, but you gotta move on and just get ready for the next season.”
On how tough it will be to play against the Heat this year with their improvements:
“It’s not hard. I think we proved that this year. It’s not important where you finish in the regular season in my opinion. If you got a team that has just one goal, the goal is getting into the playoffs. Last year we finished the year at 17 and 17. That wasn’t even above .500. That was right at .500 record. A lot of people were counting us out but we knew what we were waiting on. We were just waiting to get to the playoffs. When you get to the playoffs, it’s a totally different game. It’s not more fast paced, it’s all slowed up, it’s more of a half court set, and it’s more physical. It looks good on paper with Miami and stuff like that, but at the same time each team is going to come at you. You gotta be prepared. It would be nothing more than amazing for us to meet up with Miami and beat them. I think any team would love to upset them. They’ve got a lot of pressure on their end. Forget the other teams have to play against them, they’ve got a lot of pressure on their end to win, to actually produce. It won’t just be as if you’re gonna get three All Star players and then you win a championship. You gotta have the right coach, everybody has to sacrifice, you gotta be willing to move the ball, it’s gotta be about team, and you gotta be able to play defense. We’ll see when it’s time to match-up so we can just go from there.”