Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

May 8, 2013

Thunder Wrap-up

The TDP's Kolby Paxton breaks down Game 2 between OKC and Memphis.

I give myself the same pep talk before every Thunder playoff game.

“I’m not going to get upset. Everything will work itself out. I’m just going to relax and enjoy the game. Yelling at my television isn’t going to change anything anyway, you know?”

It never works.

I think I’d have more success if Kendrick Perkins, Kevin Martin and Serge Ibaka didn’t play for Oklahoma City, but they do, so it doesn’t. I don’t get upset when my team loses, mind you. I’m a Dallas Cowboys fan. That sort of thing has little affect on my mental stability. No, what drives me absolutely stark raving mad is that I have to sit here and watch the exact same things happen over and over and over and over and over... and over.

And then I get to try — and fail — to find a fresh, interesting way to say the same things that I have said 1,000 times before.

1. By the way, where’d all you “Perk brings toughness” guys go?

I had to laugh a little last night as social media erupted with variations of “Perkins stinks.” Most of y’all are about a year late to the party. A couple of my brother’s co-workers, both of whom read this spot, told him that he just “didn’t understand basketball” when he aired our collective disdain for the Thunder center this time a year ago.

This isn’t a new development. Perkins has been a train wreck of a basketball player from day one. We just spent several years trying to talk ourself into the whole idea that toughness and leadership was somehow worth $9 million per year — or even a spot in the starting lineup, for that matter.

Without exaggerating, Kendrick Perkins is the worst starter in the 2013 NBA Playoffs. Leadership? Perkins whines and cries around like a 12-year old. If I had a nickel for every time Fisher or Durant has to pull him away from an official, I’d have a lot of nickels. Toughness? What, because he’ll go nose-to-nose with Francisco Garcia? Because he’ll put a hard screen on Patrick Beverley? Cool. You know what’d be really neat, though? If Perkins was “tough” while the ball was in play. Tough on the boards. Tough on Marc Gasol.

Memphis outrebounded the Thunder 43 to 34. Marc Gasol led the Grizzlies with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Shot 62 percent from the floor. He was “defended” — sort of — by a guy that made $23,637 for every point he scored this season.

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