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Celtics not intimidating teams this time around

Apr 11, 2011, 10:40 AM EDT

Boston Celtics v Miami Heat Getty Images

Be very, very careful reading much into the end of the regular season when trying to predict the playoffs. The Lakers stumbled the final games of the regular season, Boston took the final few weeks off and was 11-11 right before the playoffs. They were the teams in Game 7 of the finals.

But one thing seems to be different in the East — Boston has lost some of its intimidation factor.

They have replaced Kendrick Perkins‘ scowl with nothing right now — Jermaine O’Neal doesn’t count and Shaquille is still out — and the result is teams are not afraid of ventures into the paint.

Former Celtic Brian Scalabrine said it after the Celtics/Bulls game, then after the Heat thumped the Celtics on Sunday it was the Chris Bosh saying the same thing to the Boston Herald.

Speaking of the difference in the Celts since their big trade, Chris Bosh said things were essentially the same in what they try to do. Then he added, “It’s just a difference in players. Kendrick (Perkins) brought a certain element to that team, and it’s not there anymore.”

Look, getting Shaq back matters, no doubt. But the attitude of other teams tells of a perception shift — Shaq does not intimidate. Not anymore, anyway. How much that perception really matters in the playoffs — when the Celtics veterans have rested legs and bring another level of energy — remains to be seen.

Perkins himself Sunday said he is not buying any of it.

“This is nothing for them, they’ll pick it up in the playoffs, believe me,” Perkins said in the Thunder locker room after his new team beat the Lakers. “They’ll be a different team in the playoffs.”

  1. mornelithe - Apr 11, 2011 at 11:26 AM

    Perkins sounds like the only intelligent human in Basketball this morning. Now how’s that for a huge surprise? Celtics? Not playing to their fullest at the tail end of the season? Only a former Celtic acknowledging this is part of the Celtics typical gameplan? Go figure! Wonder when the rest of the basketball following world will catch on.

    Armchair commentator’s, assemble!

  2. LPad - Apr 11, 2011 at 11:33 AM

    Not a Celtic fan, but I doubt the top players in the world were afraid of taking the ball into the paint because of Perkins. Actually, I doubt they are ever afraid of taking it into the paint.

    • trueballs - Apr 11, 2011 at 2:19 PM

      clearly Bosh was afraid of going into the paint against Perk. players might play fearlessly, but it doesn’t mean they are not afraid. Perkins has that look. And that alone makes him a great basket protector

  3. chargerdillon - Apr 11, 2011 at 1:08 PM

    As long as the refs are still blowing the whistles, the Celtics are in trouble.

    It has far less to do with being able to protect the paint and far more to do with being able to defend the paint with an enforcer style. The Celtics can’t do that if they don’t have enough healthy bodies to put on the court. As already stated in the article Shaq does not intimidate.

    Perception that driving the paint and taking a clubbing arm in the form of a block is far better defense than actually doing it every time. Nobody is afraid of that if they drive the paint on the Celtics right now because they dont have enough able-bodied centers to do that all game.

    Now you go out of your way to drive on Shaq, get him in early foul trouble, and the paint is yours for the majority of the game.

    Good luck Boston, your GM set you up for some tough times.

    • philtration - Apr 11, 2011 at 3:43 PM

      The Celtics are going to get old really fast and if they believe that Rondo is going to carry this team with a bunch of supporting players then they are crazy.

      This will be Boston’s last realistic shot at a title for a while.

  4. zackd2 - Apr 11, 2011 at 5:41 PM

    Yea but KG yells & pounds his chest, that must mean he’s intimidating.

    • rapmusicmademedoit - Apr 12, 2011 at 7:11 PM

      talking smack to a goal posts, banging your head and making ugly faces.
      this man is craZy.

  5. rapmusicmademedoit - Apr 12, 2011 at 7:13 PM

    Boston traded away their chance at getting to the Finals
    Lakers vs Bulls or Heat, Kobe gets his 3peat.

  6. dysraw1 - Apr 19, 2011 at 5:05 PM

    the celtics have gotten the best of the knicks the entire season. yet it seem as though the knicks were in position to win at least 3 of the games played. im so glad perk is gone. perkins definitely makes or wouldve made the celtics legit.

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