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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.

‘€œThey played great defense tonight,’€ Howard said of the Celtics. ‘€œThey 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.

Read More: Dwight Howard, Kendrick Perkins,
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
Perk on Howard: He’s the only guy that rebounds at 12:24 pm ET
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WALTHAM -Kendrick Perkins knows the mission before him as the Celtics get ready to take on the Orlando Magic in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series tonight at TD Banknorth Garden.

Make life tough on NBA Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard. And don’t get caught up in the stat sheet if Howard is putting up video game numbers, especially in the rebounding column.

“He has to work for it, 20 and 20,” Perkins said at this morning’s shootaround at the team’s practice facility. “You know one thing, he’s going to grab every (rebound). He’s the only guy that rebounds on their team. So, he’s going to grab all the defensive rebounds. He may grab 15 to 17 defensive rebounds so you can’t get caught up in that. If you can make 20 points on 20 attempts, that’s pretty good.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, Dwight Howard, Kendrick Perkins, Magic
Doc: Perkins is a target of officials 04.27.09 at 2:18 pm ET
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WALTHAM – Doc Rivers has said all year that his team has a target on its back. Now, he feels, there’s someone else taking aim.

After watching video of the two fouls called on Kendrick Perkins for two moving screens, in which there was little or no contact, Rivers let out a little of his frustration. Rivers was trying to give support to Perkins who was criticized for fouling out of Game 4 when his team didn’t have a big man to spare.

“I’ve got to say this about Perk,” Rivers began, “clearly, every game he’s been targeted for these moving screens. He gets them every game. He gets them called every game. Watching that tape last night, there two where he did move in the direction but there was zero contact on him. Brad Miller, on the other hand, is flying around. He’s laying guys out on screens and didn’t get one of those called. That bothers you.”

But Rivers also said that he would like Perkins to show some diplomacy on the court toward the officials.

“Perk does do it. Perk doesn’t help himself, which I’ve told him 100 times. When you do commit a foul, sometimes say, ‘Good call.’ And I know he’s never committed a foul and I probably whine as much as he does.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Bulls, Celtics, Kendrick Perkins, NBA playoffs
KG concern: He’s the center of everything 03.31.09 at 2:52 pm ET
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He hasn’t been that big a player since coming to the Celtics in February but Mikki Moore spoke volumes on Tuesday when he spoke about the news that the team is shutting down Kevin Garnett for the time being with continuing right knee soreness.

“It’s a big adjustment,” said Moore, who will pick up the slack along with Glen Davis. “He’s the center of everything. He’s the vocal point of our defense and he enthuses guys to come out and play hard. We’re going to miss his presence out on the floor but he’s always in the locker room or on the sideline out there talking to us. We’ll be alright.”

Coach Doc Rivers is hopeful that Moore, Davis and Bill Walker can step into line of fire and help while KG gets his rest.

“He’s been terrific,” Rivers said of Davis. “Mikki has a big game the other night as well. Maybe that’s the silver lining, that Mikki and Big Baby are playing more. Steph is getting more minutes due to the fact that we just don’t have enough bodies and Billy Walker is playing more so maybe that is a silver lining.”

As for others who just became more important, Rivers knows the burden falls to Paul Pierce and Ray Allen.

“We’re not going to play them more minutes but clearly there’s more pressure on them,” Rivers said. “I understand that. That may be a reason to cut their minutes a little bit as well. Bottom line is we’re going to be healthy when playoffs start and we’re going to do whatever we can to have the legs.”

Then there were the following words from Kendrick Perkins.

“We have to do it as a team,” Perkins said. “For sure, I have to do a better job of communicating on the floor and talking the defense out.”

Perkins can read the writing on the wall about the team’s chances if KG isn’t fully recovered.

“There’s always concern,” Perkins said. “A guy that has a month off from rest, comes back and he’s still not fully recovered. It’s still kind of scary. But then again, you’re dealing with a warrior, so he’ll find a way to get back.

“When he was out there, he wasn’t 100 percent, you could tell. The biggest thing is, we’ve got two-to-three weeks before the playoffs and we just want Kevin to be healthy, get treatment, messages and go from there,” Perkins added.

Read More: Celtics, Kendrick Perkins, Kevin Garnett, Mikki Moore
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