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  • Writer's pictureJoe Pace

New England Sports 366, #74: Kendrick Perkins

We’re all familiar with the Celtics Big Three 2.0. Garnett, Pierce, and Allen were certainly the core of that dominant green team a decade ago. But a couple of supporting players were just as vital. Rajon Rondo at the point and Kendrick Perkins in the paint were a huge part of that 2008 title squad, and it can be argued - no, it’s a stone cold fact - that if Perkins hadn’t been injured in game 6 of the 2010 finals, the Celtics would have won another banner for the rafters.

Perk was a monster in high school, coming out of Texas as such a highly touted prospect that he skipped college and went straight to the NBA. The Memphis Grizzlies drafted the big man with their first pick in 2003, #27 overall (irony alert: Perkins had committed to the University of Memphis for college before entering the draft). Perk was then traded to the Celtics, where it took a few years before his game was NBA-ready enough to earn the regular starting center spot.

Earn it he did, and Perkins became the toughness and grit of that team, doing the rebounding and the dirty work down low, a physical presence that made the lane a dangerous place for would-be scorers in the other uniform. Perkins was traded from the Celtics and bounced around the league for another seven years before retiring.

As Doc Rivers famously observed, the intact starting five of Rondo, Allen, Pierce, Garnett, and Perkins remains undefeated in the NBA finals.

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