But what I want to talk about is Boston's center. What I want to talk about is the emergence of Kendrick Perkins as a legit NBA center.
Almost unnoticed last night was the fact that Perkins out-rebounded Shaq (10-7) and stayed close to him in scoring (13-16). He played a solid 26 minutes and showed he belongs in that starting lineup every night.
As March rolled around, a light seemed to go on in Perk's head. Here are his per-game averages for the month: 8.5 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 8.2 points. Those are all monthly average highs for Perkins this year. Here are his Pre and Post All-Star per-game averages:
Pre All-Star: 5.6 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 7.3 points
Post All-Star: 7.4 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 7.8 points
His 6.2 rebounds, 1.49 blocks and 7.4 points per-game average for the year solidly places him in the middle of pack for centers. And while he is no Amare Stoudemire at this point in his career, he's no Joel Przybilla either. But at only 23 years old, Perkins has the time and the talent to become very good. It sure doesn't hurt he has a resource like KG to learn from, either.
I'd say he was definitely worth trading Troy Bell and Dahntay Jones for, wouldn't you? I enjoy nothing more than watching a player develop, and the Celtics have a abundance of players like that this year. But for me, watching the growth of Perkins this year has been the most enjoyable of all. He works hard and it is finally paying off for him.