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As he arrived at the Staples Center this afternoon for media availability, Kendrick Perkins’ crutches and knee brace told a scary story. It was soon confirmed that Perkins had torn his MCL and PCL, an injury that will end his season a game early and leave the Celtics with a large void to fill on the defensive end.
With 5:30 remaining in the first quarter of Game 6, Perkins went up for a rebound, and came down awkwardly on his right knee as Andrew Bynum went hard over the top. Perkins immediately crumbled to the floor and laid on the court for several minutes. He needed assistance off the court and never put any pressure on his right leg as he was ushered away.
“It’s crazy,” he said. “I bang all the time and come out fine, and this time I get hurt.”
It was as simple as that. It was a familiar play that Perkins has been a part of hundreds of times in his career. Unfortunately, this time was different. That it had to happen in the NBA Finals only compounds the problem. Doc Rivers would only officially refer to the injury as a sprain, but the point is moot. Perkins is done for the season and it will be up to Rasheed Wallace and Glen Davis to pick up where he left off.
Though Perkins will be sorely missed, Davis and Wallace do provide an offensive upgrade. Though both lack the defensive prowess of Perkins, the drop-off may not be as severe as it seems.
“They all bring different things to the game. Obviously Perk brings his toughness on defense and rebounding. Rasheed also does the same but he can do a little bit more scoring in the post. Baby, he’s really good at scoring, outside, inside, big banger, rebounding. Just got to take advantage of these guys’ strengths and what they bring to the game.” – Paul Pierce
Game 7 is Thursday night in Los Angeles. The home team is 13-3 in the 16 prior NBA Finals Game 7’s.