Four things to know about Kendrick Perkins' rehab

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Four things to know about Kendrick Perkins' rehab

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com

For the first time in years, the Boston Celtics have begun their season without their core starting five on the court.

Kendrick Perkins has been on the road to recovery ever since suffering a devastating right knee injury in Game Six of the NBA Finals and undergoing surgery to repair a torn ACL in July.

Perkins aims to play before the All-Star Break. In the meantime, his absence is felt as centers Jermaine and Shaquille O'Neal battle injuries of their own.

It's no secret Perkins is determined to get healthy and help the Celtics. As he fights his way back on to the court, here are four other things to know about his rehab:
DOUBLE DUTY
Being injured doesn't keep Perkins away from the gym. In fact, he makes two trips a day.

"I'm at the gym twice a day," he said. "Three hours for practice, three hours when I come back at night. For practice, I get there at 11 a.m.. At night I get there about 10, leave at 1 in the morning, something like that. We've got 24-hour access, so we've got to get it in."

CAN'T GET ENOUGH
Perkins has made one of the most noticeable physical transformations on the Celtics over the years. After slimming down, he wants to maintain his conditioning while he rehabs.

"I do extra conditioning," he explained. "I don't think I can ever get too much conditioning, so I try to stay in the best shape possible. I work out with one of our strength coaches and we do different things every day -- exercise bike, elliptical, treadmill, stuff like that."
THE HARDEST PART
As grueling as rehab can be at times, it has been easier than Perkins expected. But the team-first big man didn't realize the most difficult part wouldn't be pain in his knee.

"It's been easier as far as physically," he said of the rehabilitation process. "Mentally it's harder, watching guys go at it and play basketball. It's tough watching the team doing what they do. So mentally, it's harder."
FINDING INSPIRATION IN FOXBORO
Perkins wants to do more than simply return to basketball. He looks to come back an even better player than before, and he's drawing inspiration from a fellow New England athlete who also suffered a similar injury.

"I'm just trying to come back better than ever. That's my goal," he said. "You try to come back like a Wes Welker (Patriots wide receiver). You try to come back harder, at least. Wes Welker, that's my motivation. For real."

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.comjcameratonba

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Celtics-Magic preview: Orlando's poor offense gives C's chance to bounce back

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Celtics-Magic preview: Orlando's poor offense gives C's chance to bounce back

Talk about your basketball extremes.

After losing a 107-106 heartbreaker to Houston and their high-powered offense on Monday, the Boston Celtics will be in for a very different -- and less successful -- foe tonight in the Orlando Magic.

The Magic beat Washington 124-116 on Tuesday night despite John Wall’s 52-point effort, but have been one of the NBA’s most offensively challenged teams this season.

Orlando ranks near the bottom in scoring (29th, 94.6 points per game), field goal percentage (28th, .426) and Pace (24th, 96.71) this season.

But Frank Vogel’s crew has been a defensive force thus far in the East even if their record might suggest otherwise.

They rank among the league’s best in several defensive categories such as scoring defense (4th, 98.0 points per game allowed); opponent 3-point percentage (3rd, 33.0 percent), opponent 3-point attempts (4th, 23.6) in addition to allowing a league-low 8.0 made 3's per game.

That will be a stark contrast from the let-it-fly-all-night style Boston had to contend with against the high-scoring Rockets on Monday.

But this set of games is exactly why Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge made of point of trying to put together a roster that was heavy on athleticism and versatility both in the frontcourt as well as on the perimeter.

Against Houston, Tyler Zeller recorded his first DNP-CD (Did not play -- coaches decision) of the season which made sense considering Houston basically plays void of a traditional center.

Orlando, that’s a different story.

Serge Ibaka, Bismack Biyombo and Nikola Vucevic now coming off the bench form a physical triumvirate of big men that can cause lots of problems for a Celtics team that will look to attack the paint often.

When it comes to scoring in the restricted area, the Magic allow opponents to shoot 57.6 percent which ranks seventh in the league. They rank highly when it comes to defending mid-range shots (5-10th, 38.3 percent), corner 3's (6th, 34.5 percent) and above-the-break 3's (8th, 33.8 percent) as well.

And while they have had their issues offensively this season, their recent run of success has been in part aided by a much-improved offensive showing. In their last five games, they are shooting 48.5 percent from the field which ranks fifth in the NBA in that span. For the season, the Magic rank 28th while connecting on 42.6 percent of their shots.

Orlando’s improved shooting with a defense that’s stingy as ever, will make this a tough game for Boston to come away with a victory.

Just as the Magic seek to continue their successful ways, the Celtics come into this game with something to prove as well.

While the missed lay-ups by Al Horford and Isaiah Thomas in the final minute of Monday’s 107-106 loss certainly were factors in the game’s outcome, there were a series of miscommunications earlier in the quarter that fueled Houston’s late surge.

Following the game, Isaiah Thomas pointed out how he called out a play that Jonas Jerebko interpreted as another play the Celtics called.

The miscommunication led to a turnover and subsequent lay-up which in hindsight looms huge considering the margin of victory was just one point.

“The two play calls sound alike,” Thomas told reporters afterwards. “In the heat of battle, I have to do a better job of making sure everybody knows what play we’re running. He (Jerebko) handed the ball back to me when the play wasn’t to hand the ball back to me. That was one of the turnovers that was the key.

Thomas added, “It’s not his fault. As a group, as a point guard, I have to do a better job of letting my guys know what play we’re running. Those little things, especially on the road, those make you lose games. But that wasn’t the play that made us lose. I’m not putting this on Jonas at all.”

Indeed, this team’s success as well as their struggles are the collective efforts of all their core players, Thomas included.

And for them to get back on track, it won’t be one or two players that will make it happen.

It’ll be a team effort, the kind that will allow Boston to find success against different teams no matter how extremely different their styles of play may be.