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Kendrick Perkins working to have some semblance of an offensive game

Aug 12, 2013, 11:11 AM EDT

Kendrick Perkins AP

Last season, other teams largely would ignore Kendrick Perkins on the offensive end. The Thunder would try to get him going pretty much every night, throwing the ball to him in the post on the first couple trips down the court, getting him some touches before letting Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook take over.

How did it work? Perkins shot a career low 45.7 percent and his PER of 8.2 was the lowest in the NBA of anyone getting 25 minutes a game or more. (To be fair, the Thunder’s starting five was +10.6 per 48 minutes when on the court last season with a defensive rating of 97 points per 100 possessions. It worked. The question is did it work because of or in spite of Perkins? Take out Perkins and replace him in that same lineup with Hasheem Thabeet and the Thunder were +19.3 per 48 minutes.)

The Thunder didn’t amnesty Perkins this summer, but they need to do something to have more out of him on offense, and he told the Oklahoman he was working on that.

“I’ve been working, man,” Perkins said. “Been in the gym and basically just working more in the weight room on my explosiveness and touch around the basket, hook shots and stuff like that. I’ve been shooting a lot of jumpers, making sure I make 300 a night. I’m just trying to prepare.”

No doubt Oklahoma City will be one of the best teams in the West next season, a contender led by the second best player on the planet, as athletic a guard as there is in the league and some role players that fit well. But to really contend come May and June without James Harden or his lesser replacement Kevin Martin, guys like Jeremy Lamb are going to have to step up.

And so is Perkins.

“What people don’t understand is this is this is KD’s sixth year, Russ’ fifth year,” Perkins said. “Now, they’re veterans. They’ve got enough experience. And it’s Thabo (Sefolosha’s) contract year, and you know how guys perform on their contract year. So at the end of the day we feel like we got enough to get it done.”

If they get any offense out of Perkins, that would help.

  1. asimonetti88 - Aug 12, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    Crazy to think Durant is going into his 6th season… he’s only 25 too… he is still getting better!

  2. legend30 - Aug 12, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    Kendrick Perkins just retire…

    • spthegr8 - Aug 12, 2013 at 1:29 PM

      @legend
      Why would he do that. Teams usually over pay for Big’s. Even tho they SUCK!!!

      • spthegr8 - Aug 12, 2013 at 1:35 PM

        You could leave Perk alone, in a gym overnight, by himself and he would STILL have problems scoring, with nobody covering him.!! If he wasn’t 6’10 inches and 270 lbs, he would be bagging groceries!!!

  3. dysraw1 - Aug 12, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    the bigs were the disappointing guys for me in the playoffs especially, the last two seasons

  4. tcclark - Aug 12, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    He’s just now working to have some semblance of an offensive game? He should have been working on this years ago. I still don’t understand why he is a starting NBA center and why Boston gets ripped for trading him for Jeff Green. I mean, this guy is almost the exact same player as Kwame Brown – all low post defense, limited shot blocking, and almost no offense. They’re basically the same height and weight, and their work ethic isn’t too far apart. This guy has been the most overrated player in the NBA for quite some time. It is refreshing to see negative articles written about him.

    • thraiderskin - Aug 12, 2013 at 12:45 PM

      I’m really glad I read your comment before I started writing, I was thinking the same damn thing about his offensive game.

    • money2long - Aug 12, 2013 at 1:16 PM

      he’s been on teams that really didnt require him to score, but to be an enforcer on the defensive end. with harden and martin gone, maybe he feels he needs to perhaps have some focus to contribute on the offensive end some nights.

  5. sellahh - Aug 12, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    Sorry to be a malconent, but meh. I remember in the summer after he got traded to OKC, one season after his knee injury he lost some serious weight to, as I recall, become more mobile. Nevertheless, he still looked like a traffic cone out there. So it’s all just blablabla.
    Oh, and to the guy above. No, he’s not the most overrated player in the NBA. Pretty much everyone has realised how useless he is.
    2 years ago, that might have been true, i mean
    ‘Boston got raped in that Perkins-Green trade’
    ‘Boston broke up a championship team’.
    Now? Please.

    • sellahh - Aug 12, 2013 at 12:09 PM

      Weird to reply to my own post but…
      I loved to bash Perkins. On this site and everywhere else. But the kind of flak this guy gets, i might go out on a limb and say he’s just a tad underrated. Don’t get me wrong, is he vastly overpaid? For sure, but so are guys like DeAndre, Splitter, Nene, McGee and Pekovic, soon.
      I know the argument is ‘big guys get paid’ but you’re not winning anything with those guys as your 3rd (or even 2nd) highest paid players.

      • tcclark - Aug 12, 2013 at 2:44 PM

        “underrated” is the last word I would use to describe this guy…. well that and “good.”

      • adamsjohn714 - Aug 12, 2013 at 4:24 PM

        DeAndre, Splitter, Mcgee, and Pekovic are all significantly better players than Perkins.

      • av416 - Aug 12, 2013 at 9:42 PM

        REALLY???

      • adamsjohn714 - Aug 13, 2013 at 1:46 AM

        yes. Really. Perkins is really bad.

  6. sfsugator - Aug 12, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    imagine if the thunder never traded for perkins, they probably would still have harden. that sux for thunder fans. thunder stix.

  7. kingwithringz - Aug 12, 2013 at 1:20 PM

    Okc is using him wrong. He is a defensive player. Perk was a beast in Boston. Doc Rivers brings out the best in players. Plus, he was playing down on the block with KG. He doesn’t need an offensive game. If not for Greg Oden, Miami would take him in a heartbeat. Rebound, block shots, defend.

    • tcclark - Aug 12, 2013 at 2:28 PM

      He has never been a beast. He has been hyped ever since the Celtics won their championship and Perk needed to guard Dwight Howard in order to get them to the Championship. He doesn’t do anything well except guard bigger players in the low post. He absolutely doesn’t rebound. For his career he’s averaged 6.2 rebounds per game. In fact, last year, he averaged, .3 less rebounds than Evan Turner. He also doesn’t block shots, he blocks shot… singular. For his career he’s averaged 1.3 blocks per game. That’s about what Dwayne Wade has averaged for his career. And finally, the fact that Miami would rather have Greg Oden, who hasn’t played a game since 09-10, than Kendrick Perkins does not help your argument. The guy has played a total of 82 games in 6 years and wasn’t even good when playing. And yet, Miami would still rather have him than Kendrick Perkins. Perk should be buried on someone’s bench like Kwame Brown.

      • timmytoes - Aug 12, 2013 at 8:48 PM

        Couldn’t have said it any better myself. He has to have the worst contract in the NBA.

    • adamsjohn714 - Aug 12, 2013 at 4:22 PM

      honestly he turned 2 good games against dwight howard into a career.

      • timmytoes - Aug 12, 2013 at 8:50 PM

        Bill Simmons was also his personal hype man back then.

  8. ProBasketballPundit - Aug 12, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    Perkins should be working on his ball handling first. 20% of the time he touches the ball it results in a turnover.

  9. thenew013 - Aug 12, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    I know this is about Perkins but I wouldnt neccesarily consider Durant the 2nd best player in the world. I see second best player as like a 5 way tie and growing.

  10. kb2408 - Aug 12, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    Perk is arguably the worst player in the league. However, with that being said, his career low fg% is higher than Bill Russell’s career fg% (44). Just thought I’d throw that little nugget in for the “Russell is the best player ever” set.

    • patfic15 - Aug 12, 2013 at 6:30 PM

      Thank you for settling the argument amongst the 60 yr old PBT readers.

    • 1historian - Aug 13, 2013 at 11:15 AM

      What part of the phrase “never lost a championship game and was the starting center on 11 NBA Championip teams” do you have trouble with?

  11. patfic15 - Aug 12, 2013 at 6:28 PM

    Lol@ Kendrick Perkins. Thanks Presti. You killed the Thunder. Title hopes…

  12. caeser12 - Aug 12, 2013 at 6:57 PM

    Perkins and “Cicely” Tyson Chandler, would need 2 days to play a game of 1 on1 to 21.

    • timmytoes - Aug 12, 2013 at 8:56 PM

      Lol How about a 2-on-2 with Perk and Chandler vs Biedrins and Reggie Evans?

      • caeser12 - Sep 10, 2013 at 12:11 PM

        LOL! They would have to play that over a course of 7 days.

    • adamsjohn714 - Aug 13, 2013 at 1:12 AM

      except chandler is one of the best shooters in the game…. and Perkins sucks at it.

      • caeser12 - Aug 13, 2013 at 12:19 PM

        Tyson Chandler is one of the best shooters in the game?

      • adamsjohn714 - Aug 13, 2013 at 4:13 PM

        well yeah. That’s why he makes a really high percentage of them. Part of being a great shooter is shot selection. It is extremely difficult to maintain his percentage on his shot attempts. Very few players can, or have, done it. He’s not any good at pulling up from 18 feet, so he doesn’t do it. A layup counts exactly the same.

      • bougin89 - Aug 14, 2013 at 5:31 PM

        It’s hilarious to watch you try to skew words on this site. Tyson is a very efficient offensive player, like Tyler Hansborough, right? You were wrong on Hansbrough but yes, Chandler is good at making garbage buckets(which I would actually agree with you, players that can score without being an offensive option are valuable). Where you are wrong is your comment below. “Shot selection”. Chandler doesn’t purposefully pass up shots, he’s not an option on offense unless it’s a lob off of a pick n roll.

  13. av416 - Aug 12, 2013 at 9:41 PM

    Well now that Thabo is in his contract year…..

    • adamsjohn714 - Aug 13, 2013 at 1:13 AM

      Yeah I’m not sure what they mean by that. The guy has been really good for a couple years now.

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