Posts tagged “Russell Westbrook

Kendrick Perkins: Oklahoma City’s silent catalyst


BY ALEX ROSE, Feedcrossing.com syndication 

Oklahoma City Thunder center Kendrick Perkins may not impress in the box scores, but his team play is a big factor for the Thunder in the NBA playoffs. Photo by: PeggyDavis66 / Flickr

The day after each Oklahoma City Thunder game, the dedicated fan will grab their morning coffee and take a peak at the boxscore to see how many points Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook scored.  They look to see how many blocks Serge Ibaka swatted. Maybe Durant and Westbrook combined for a massive 70 points (accomplished twice this season), or maybe Ibaka added another double-digit block game to his stash.   However, when you come across Kendrick Perkins‘ name, the numbers look insufficient at best.  For his career, Perkins has averaged a quiet 6.2 PPG, 6.2 RPG, and 1.4 BPG.  As a member of the Thunder, his numbers seem even more anemic as he averaged just 5.1 PPG, 6.6 RPG, and 1.1 BPG in 65 games this year.

However, basketball is a game in which teamwork is hard to measure. There is no statistic that measures a player’s willingness to help their teammates succeed by doing the little things on the court.  There is no statistic that measures the extra pass on the perimeter for the open 3-pointer when the defense is late to rotate.  There is no measure that communicates how important a box-out can be so that a teammate can secure a tough rebound in the paint.  Baseball is a game in which statistics can tell the whole story of a particular game.  Teamwork is much less important.  The major league baseball player is essentially left to his own skills when stepping into the batter’s box.   (more…)


NBA MVP prediction: Kobe Bryant


BY WADE MCMILLIN, Couchsideshow.com editor

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant may win the 2011-2012 NBA MVP after leading the league in scoring for almost the entire year. Photo by: Aaron Frutman / Flickr

With the NBA regular season winding down, some hardcore fans may already be pondering about who will win this year’s MVP award.

Certainly, there is a handful of superstars deserving of the honor, but the award is about more than just leading the league in scoring, rebounds or assists. An MVP has to truly be a leader, who would change the whole dynamic of their team if they were absent from the starting lineup. Think about when Michael Jordan retired from the NBA to pursue a baseball career. The following season, Scottie Pippen definitely didn’t get any MVP love and the Chicago Bulls simply weren’t the same.

So when I look at this year’s field of possible deserving candidates (in terms of what they do for their teams) for the 2011-2012 MVP award, there is really only three players — Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard and Kevin Love — who fit that profile. The only problem is, Love’s Timberwolves have already been eliminated from playoff contention, so don’t expect him to even sniff at the trophy until Minnesota is better. And Dwight Howard’s absence from the Orlando Magic because of back spasms has only proven that he is the heart and soul of that team after Orlando slowly slipped further and further down the Eastern Conference standings once Howard started to miss more and more time.

So that leaves Kobe. Will he run away with the MVP award? Maybe not. After all, right behind him are superstars Kevin Durant and LeBron James, who rank No. 2 and No. 3 in the league, respectively, for points per game. But how much would Durant’s Thunder and James’ Heat be suffering if they weren’t there? Miami certainly could hold its own with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh running the show and you have to believe Oklahoma City could do the same with its depth.  (more…)