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Irish Coffee: Time to start Kendrick Perkins 02.02.11 at 12:57 pm ET
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Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee ‘€¦

It’s time for Kendrick Perkins to start.

Despite Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge‘s claim on WEEI’s Big Show last week that he doesn’t think it matters who starts between Shaquille O’Neal and Perkins, the man who hasn’t lost a playoff series starting alongside Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo has proven within five games that he deserves his spot back.

In Perkins’ first three games since returning from ACL surgery this past offseason, the Celtics were better off with either O’Neal or Semih Erden starting the first and third quarters. The numbers back it up. The C’s outscored their opponents by a total of three points to start each half before Perkins entered the game against the Cavaliers, Blazers and Suns. They were subsequently outscored by a total of 11 points with Perkins on the floor in those three games.

However, in the last two games — victories over the Lakers and Kings — the C’s have outscored their opponents by 22 from the moment Perkins entered the game in the first and third quarters to the time somebody substituted for him. That’s nine points better than they were in those two contests with O’Neal on the floor to start each half.

In his first five games this season, Perkins’ minutes have steadily risen to the mid-20s, culminating in a near double-double against the Kings. His performance Tuesday night marked the first game he vastly outperformed the C’s starting center.

Take a look at Perkins’ progression upon entering each half since his return compared to the Celtics’ starting center that night (each player’s plus/minus statistics are in parentheses):

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Read More: Bill Walton, Boston Celtics, Kendrick Perkins, Magic Johnson
A small collection of Bill Walton phrases 01.28.11 at 10:46 am ET
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Celtics fans received a treat Thursday night when Bill Walton stepped in for Tommy Heinsohn alongside Mike Gorman on the Comcast SportsNet broadcast. Walton remains as goofy, weird and non-sequitur-ish as ever. Only Walton could drop a reference to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s birthday into a riff on basketball creativity, especially in a game that featured very little in the way of aesthetically pleasing basketball.

To be sure some people didn’t like Walton, whose crimes against broadcasting included: talking too much, saying weird things that made no sense, making sweeping over-the-top statements that couldn’t possibly hold up under scrutiny, and not being Tommy.

To those people we say: Lighten up. It’s Bill Walton! You were expecting something different?

The one thing that shown through the broadcast is that he loves the game and loves being around it. In April of last year, Walton told the San Diego Tribune that he had contemplated suicide because of the back pain that had nearly completely incapacitated him. Walton has been working a handful of Sacramento Kings broadcasts this year and is obviously thrilled to be back around the NBA.

If you missed him Thursday, Walton will also join Gorman for Friday night’s game in Phoenix and be on the Comcast set for Sunday’s game in Los Angeles.

This is just a small sampling of Walton’s witticism and odd one-liners, pulled from Twitter and my own notes. Some need more of a set-up than others. Please add others in the comments:

On oft-injured Portland center Greg Oden:

He should move to Hawaii, lose a ton of weight and start all over… become a yoga master

On former Pistons Bill Laimbeer, Rick Mahorn and Dennis Rodman:

They just made those decisions. That they were going to break all the rules of human decency.

After Doc Rivers argued a call:

Doc Rivers making sizable contributions to our website,

On Ray Allen’s shooting form:

Flawless … like Yosemite Falls coming right through the rim

After pleading for Kevin Garnett to come back in the game, Walton seemed almost sad that Semih Erden was checking in instead.

Semih’s not as good as KG

After the camera caught Garnett in the middle of his pregame ritual where he bangs his head against the basket stanchion:

Kevin Garnett, working on his repetitive head injuries

On Portland center Joel Pryzbilla:

Pryzbilla does what he does best… violate the rules.

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