Skip to content

Thunder’s Kendrick Perkins out six weeks after surgery to repair groin injury

Feb 25, 2014, 11:48 AM EDT

Oklahoma City Thunder v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks will not be able to lean on Kendrick Perkins for the next six weeks — something that will be welcomed by a lot of Thunder fans. At least until they see the team is 0-3 without him this season and the defense suffers.

Perkins will be out up to six weeks following surgery to repair a strained groin suffered last Thursday night against the Heat, first reported by Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman and now confirmed by the team.

Perkins was injured in the third quarter last Thursday and did not play Sunday against the Clippers, with rookie Steven Adams starting in his place. However, at crunch time at the end of the game Brooks went with a smaller lineup of Serge Ibaka, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Reggie Jackson and Derek Fisher (the Clippers had a 13-2 run late to win that game).

Brooks has leaned on Perkins against lineups where he has nobody to really guard (the Miami Heat small lineup being the most obvious), much to the frustration of fans. Brooks goes back to Perkins at the end of games giving the opposing team an obvious guy to help off of (and a guy near the basket making it easier for the opposing big to protect the rim).

The knock on Perkins is what he does to the Thunder offense — they go from scoring 110.1 points per 100 possessions when he is sitting on the bench to 102.7 when he is on the court (because he is not a weapon, despite the fact the Thunder force feed him a few post possessions early every game). The Thunder defense gets a little worse, one point per 100, when he sits, but that doesn’t compensate for the offense. Bottom line, the Thunder and 8.2 points per 100 better with him on the bench.

That said, you can’t just plug someone in for Perkins and make it work, it’s not an accident they are 0-3 without him.. This season when you sub in Adams for Perkins with the rest of the Thunder’s usual starting five (Westbrook, Thabo Sefolosha, Durant and Ibaka) the Thunder get 14.2 points per 100 possessions worse, mostly because their defense gives up 122 points per 100 possessions (this would be small sample size theater, as Adams has only played 82 minutes with that group). Adams has a chance here, but he is inexperienced and that shows at times, something that will cost the Thunder as he learns.

Perkins has a role on this team and in certain matchups can be crucial. The good news is this injury will force Brooks to go away from his crutch and find other rotations that work for Oklahoma City, something that can benefit them in the playoffs.

But it’s not as simple as saying Oklahoma City is better without Perkins. Reality is more nuanced than that.

  1. spursareold - Feb 25, 2014 at 11:57 AM

    Could this be Scott Brooks “Lionel Hollins” moment, when his favorite terrible advanced stats player is taken away from him?

    • naterich21 - Feb 25, 2014 at 3:15 PM

      So Scott Brooks is getting fired next season then

    • naterich21 - Feb 25, 2014 at 3:15 PM

      So Scott Brooks is getting fired before next season then

      • unxpexted1 - Feb 25, 2014 at 3:21 PM

        He should be fired. His inablity to control RW and insinstence on starting kendrick perkins are fireable offenses.

  2. spthegr8 - Feb 25, 2014 at 12:13 PM

    Best news the Thunder have had all year. Perk is the DRIZZLING SH**S!!! Most over payed player in the league. All he does is make that ugly face when he gets called for fouls!!

    • nycalldayz - Feb 25, 2014 at 12:36 PM

      He’s not the most overpaid player in the league. Just thought you should know.

      • spthegr8 - Feb 25, 2014 at 12:59 PM

        Perks Stats- 3.4 ppg 5.0 rebs 1.1 ast.
        Perk is getting paid $9,154,342.00.
        The defense rest your honor!!!!

      • pbtunpaidwriter - Feb 25, 2014 at 1:00 PM

        He’s pretty damn close…

    • padraighansen - Feb 25, 2014 at 6:31 PM

      Really? Most overpaid?

      In terms of overpaid, it’s a dead heat this year between Amare Stoudamire’s $21 Million salary vs. Ben Gordon’s nearly $14 Million salary. Perkins may be in the top 10 of being overpaid….but he’s nowhere close to being the most overpaid.

      You should really leave hyperbole to Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless.

    • docrecon - Feb 26, 2014 at 9:29 PM

      You are an absolute moron. All perk does is keep guys like Aldrige, Randolph, Al jefferson, Dwight Howard, Lopez, & Duncan (and every scoring big-man he faces) from scoring & rebounding up to their avgs. He may not be able to jump or score anymore, but when it comes to low-post defense, help defense, and physicality in the paint, Perk is one of the top 5 in the league. That’s not just my words. That is what every big-man he faces says about him. If the players he shuts down say that he’s one of the very best, who are you to think you know better? My guess is that you are a young kid who does nothing but look at stat sheets & doesn’t watch Thunder games. Those of us who get to see what Perk actually does every night & those who actually research & also pay attention to what the players he defends say know that you have absolutely NO idea wtf you are talking about.

      • spthegr8 - Feb 27, 2014 at 9:23 AM

        ^^^ cool story…. A real cool story!!^^^

  3. ProBasketballPundit - Feb 25, 2014 at 1:05 PM

    The Thunder currently rank 4th in defensive efficiency. I’m assuming Ibaka will start at center while Perkins is out; or he’ll at least get more minutes at center when Adams rests. Let’s see how they do with Ibaka as the sole defensive anchor.

  4. spthegr8 - Feb 25, 2014 at 1:10 PM

    & thats not even taking into account the plus/minus when he is on the floor. IMO, Collison should get his minutes. He brings nothing to the table but that scowl and 6 fouls. I take that back, he does set good screens but thats about it!!

    • docrecon - Feb 26, 2014 at 9:52 PM

      You obviously haven’t paid attention to the scoring big-men that Perk guards. To a man, Duncan, Howard, Jefferson, Harrington, Gasol, Randolph, etc… ALL say that he’s the best low-post defender that they have to go against. Stop going on just what the stats are, start actually WATCHING OKC play, and use your computer to find what the NBA’s scoring big-men say about having to play against Perk; about how hard they have to work to score….and not a one of them reaches their season avgs in scoring when they play OKC….because, although Perk can’t shoot, jump, or score, he defends the low-post like nobody else does….as the low-post scorers all say…..and I’ll take what Dwight Howard & Al Jefferson have to say about how good Perk is over you & your stat-reading ignorance any day of the week.

  5. pfic15 - Feb 25, 2014 at 2:25 PM

    Addition by subtraction…. If only Presti were that smart.

  6. doctordunkenstein - Feb 25, 2014 at 2:38 PM

    As a fan of the Miami Heat…all I can say is


  7. naterich21 - Feb 25, 2014 at 3:18 PM

    Time for an OKC 10+ game winning streak

    • unxpexted1 - Feb 25, 2014 at 3:22 PM

      Not with RW back. He’s gauranteed to lose you a few.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. D. Rose (2271)
  2. K. Irving (1866)
  3. A. Davis (1676)
  4. L. James (1545)
  5. K. Bryant (1465)
  1. K. Durant (1465)
  2. A. Aminu (1296)
  3. T. Thompson (1296)
  4. M. Leonard (1256)
  5. R. Rubio (1251)