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Updated: No penalty for Perk 05.09.09 at 2:18 pm ET
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Update: The verdict is in from the NBA and there will be no suspension for Kendrick Perkins for Game 4 against the Magic, ESPN’s Chris Sheridan reports.

Sheridan reports that NBA will leave the Flagrant 1 call as it stands, which means Perkins will be in the lineup for Game 4.

The Celtics opted not to practice Saturday, and instead conducted a film session and walk-through at the team hotel in downtown Orlando. Topic number one on everyone’s mind was Perkins’s status after he was assessed a Flagrant 1 foul for hitting Orlando’s Mickael Pietrus up high during Friday’s Game 3.

“I didn’t even know who it was,” Perkins said. “I was just trying to get through a pick. It wasn’t like I saw Pietrus and tried to hit him with an elbow. It wasn’t nothing like that.”

The Magic have already had two players suspended during the playoffs. Dwight Howard was out for Game 6 of their first round series when he hit Philly Sam Delambert with an elbow and Rafer Alston was suspended for Game 3 of this series. LA’s Derek Fisher was suspended for Friday’s Game 3 of the Lakers-Rockets series, and all this has Doc Rivers more than a little ticked off. Read the rest of this entry »

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Flagrant 1 for Perk 05.08.09 at 9:27 pm ET
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Celtics center Kendrick Perkins was assessed a Flagrant 1 foul in the fourth quarter after he delivered an elbow to Orlando’s Mickael Pietrus. Things have gotten heated in the second half. After the play, Hedo Turkoglu and Eddie House were given double technical fouls. Turkoglu has also caught Paul Pierce with a couple of elbows.

There have been several hard fouls, but nothing like the play in the Rockets-Lakers series. Yet.

Read More: Game 3, Kendrick Perkins,
Game 2: Second Quarter Update 05.06.09 at 9:14 pm ET
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The Magic wanted to play this game from outside … and paid the price. The Celtics have built a 15-point halftime lead thanks to aggressive play at the basket, outscoring the Magic 32-14 in the paint. They have also outshot the Magic 56% to 41% from the field.

Kendrick Perkins leads all scorers with 14 points (6/7 FG) and has been called for just one foul. Ray Allen, who had a quiet night in Game 1, has added 13 points. J.J. Redick is the high scorer for the Magic with 11 points.

Most importantly, the Celtics have controlled this game without Paul Pierce. He has played just five minutes (3 points) after banging knees with Hedo Turkoglu early in the first quarter.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kendrick Perkins, Paul Pierce,
Howard: Perkins makes me better 05.05.09 at 12:32 am ET
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Dwight Howard has always been generous with his compliments of Kendrick Perkins.

“Kendrick did a Kareem shake tonight,” Howard said after the Magic’s win in March. “It shocked me, but that just shows me that those guys have really been working on their game and they’ve gotten a lot better.”

He was just as quick to credit Perkins after the Magic’s victory in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Howard scored just seven points and got to the line once in the second half.

“They played great defense tonight,” Howard said of the Celtics. “They pushed me out, I didn’t get into a good rhythm. Kendrick (Perkins) kept a body on me and that’s what he’s supposed to do. I have a lot of respect for Kendrick and he makes me a better player, something I look forward to next game. Me and Pat (assistant coach Patrick Ewing) will watch film, see what I need to do so that it won’t be another night like tonight.”

Howard and Perkins will battle again in Game 2 on Wednesday night.

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Big men, old friends 05.04.09 at 7:35 pm ET
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Orlando’s Dwight Howard and Boston’s Kendrick Perkins have always been close.

They will renew acquaintances for the next two weeks when they battle in the low post in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series between the Celtics and Magic.

But ever since the two came into the league four seasons ago, the two have always shared a bond that only NBA big men can share.

“Me and Kendrick, we worked out together when we first got into the NBA at a big-man camp, with Clifford Ray actually,” Howard said before Game 1 on Monday night. “I think he saw how hard I worked and how skinny I was when I first got drafted. And how was I was able to grow into myself and my game.”

Clifford Ray would be the Celtics coach dedicated to coaching big men. Quite the advantage for Perkins as he looks for any and all advantages.

“I always battled,” Howard said. “Back then we had a lot fun together working out and just hanging out and just learning about each other.”

Kendrick Perkins said earlier in the day that he isn’t losing any sleep worrying about guarding Howard. And Howard said on Monday evening that Perkins has earned the right to be that confident.

“I’ve seen him grow over the past couple of years and he’s done an excellent job for their team,” Howard said.

Read More: Celtics, Dwight Howard, Kendrick Perkins, Magic
Stan Van Gundy on Perk, JJ and fatigue at 7:10 pm ET
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Part of what makes Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy such an engaging guy to be around is his complete and utter refusal to tap-dance around a question. Ask him something he doesn’t like and he’ll let you know he doesn’t care for it.

Example: In his pregame chat with the press before Game 1, Van Gundy was asked if fatigue would be a factor.

“Who’s tired?” he asked.

Well, the Celtics presumably.

“They played one more game than we did,” Van Gundy said.

Yes coach, but all those overtimes too.

“It’s irrelevant,” he said. “It doesn’t matter. You guys do the analysis, we just play the games.”

OK then. But Van Gundy did not hold back his praise when asked about Kendrick Perkins.

“What’s Kendrick’s always been, in my opinion, is one of the better low post defenders in the league,” Van Gundy said. “He’s a good rebounder. A tough guy. Where his improvement has come has been on the offensive end of the floor. Before, this year, and even at the beginning of the year, pretty much his offense was limited to put-backs and some dishes on drives from (Rajon) Rondo. Now the can throw him the ball on the low post. Before he could just turn one way. Now he can go in either direction. He’s obviously a guy who has worked extremely hard.”

Van Gundy saved his best work though for the inevitable JJ Redick-Ray Allen question, as in how in the heck is Redick going to stay with Allen. (Not that it was asked that way, but that’s what everyone is thinking).

“I’ve been asked about the JJ-Ray Allen matchup a lot,” Van Gundy began. “I don’t know what to say about it. It’s two guys guarding each other. The funny thing is the perception you have about players. I didn’t hear a lot of those conversations in the Bulls matchup with Ray Allen and I saw him get 51 on them. My guess is JJ can probably hold him to that.”

Well-played, coach. Well-played.

Read More: J.J. Redick, Kendrick Perkins, Stan Van Gundy,
Celtics get ready for ‘different’ challenge at 1:07 pm ET
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WALTHAM -Everyone knows this will be a different challenge for the Boston Celtics.

From the style of play to the expectations, this series with the Orlando Magic figures to be a different set of circumstances altogether for the defending NBA champs.

Another thing that will be different right out of the gate will be the intensity level, at least for Game 1 tonight at the Garden. Just ask Kendrick Perkins.

“It’s hard because you try to keep the same focus or you try to approach the game like you did in Game 7,” said the Celtics center in charge of managing Dwight Howard when he’s in the game. “I don’t care what you say, Game 7 is way different from a Game 1 because you know you have another day. With a Game 7, you know if you lose, you go home. The approach to the game is different, the intensity level is different so you just try to keep the same focus.”

Read More: Celtics, Kendrick Perkins, Magic, NBA playoffs
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