Milestone Monday: Kendrick Perkins

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Milestone Monday: Kendrick Perkins

By A.Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

BOSTON When you think about current Boston Celtics players who can knock down shots, there are a bunch of names that immediately come to mind.

Chances are, Kendrick Perkins isn't one of them.

And yet the 6-foot-10 center is not only tops on the C's in shooting percentage this season, but he also stands as the franchise leader in that category.

"I know I'm not going to get a ton of shots up," Perkins recently told CSNNE.com. "I know that. So I know when I get them, I gotta make them count."

More often than not, he does.

A career 56.4 percent shooter, Perkins is connecting on 58 percent of his shots this season.

Of course, most of Perkins' points come around the basket.

While recovering from a torn MCL and PCL injury suffered in Game Six of the NBA Finals last June, Perkins said he went about trying to improve his game in all phases -- including shooting.

"That's never going to be a big part of my game, scoring," Perkins said. "But I've been working on this little 15-footer; just trying to get better, that's all."

Even though he's the franchise leader in field-goal percentage, arguably Perkins' greatest contributions to the Celtics' success come at the defensive end of the floor.

"Him and KG, those guys are our defensive anchors," Boston's Glen Davis told CSNNE.com.

But there are times when the Celtics call upon Perkins to be more of an impact player on offense.

Boston certainly needed a big game offensively from Perkins in Sunday's 85-82 win over the Miami Heat.

With a roster that was as depleted as we've seen this season against the Heat, Perkins tallied a season-high 15 points in the C's victory.

"We told Perk that he had to be a great rover and finisher against the Heat," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "Because they do a great job of showing with their bigs. I told him, 'just trust the pass. it will be there.'"

Trust has been something Perkins' teammates have placed in him, both as a defender and at times, as a scorer, too.

"He has great hands. He can finish around the basket," said Kevin Garnett. "Defensively, he doesn't need a lot of help. He's a talker. We have that chemistry and rapport with him. To have him back to be a force . . . it's good to have Perk back."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached atsblakely@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Former Celtics teammates praise Garnett's passion and intensity

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Former Celtics teammates praise Garnett's passion and intensity

WALTHAM, Mass. – Like so many players who have spent part of their NBA journey having Kevin Garnett barking in their ear words of encouragement or just telling them to get the hell out his (bleepin’) way, you can count Avery Bradley among those who will miss the man affectionately known as ‘Big Ticket.’

Garnett recently announced his retirement after 21 NBA seasons, leaving behind a legacy that includes an NBA title won with the Boston Celtics in 2008.

Among the current Celtics, Bradley is the only current member of the team who played with Garnett in Boston.

When Bradley got the news about Garnett’s retirement, he said he sat down and wrote Garnett a letter.

“To let him know how much I appreciate him, how special he is to me,” said Bradley who added that his relationship with Garnett was impactful both on and off the court. “Kevin’s just an amazing person.”

Leon Powe, a member of the Celtics’ championship team in 2008 with Garnett, echoed similar praise about his former teammate.

“As a teammate, as a player, KG meant the world to me,” Powe told CSNNE.com. “Intensity … he brought everything you would want to the game, to the practice field, he was just non-stop energy.”

And when you saw it time after time after time with him, pretty soon it became contagious.

“The intensity just motivated every guy on the team, including me,” Powe said. “It made you want to go out and lay it out on the line for him and the team. You see how passionate he is. You see he’s one of the greats. And when you see one of the greats of the NBA going hard like that all the time, you’re like ‘Man, why can’t I do that? It trickled down to me and every young guy on the team.

Powe added, “He brought that every single day, night, morning, it didn’t matter. He brought that intensity. That’s all you could ask for.”

And Garnett’s impact was about more than changing a franchise’s fortunes in terms of wins and losses.

He also proved to be instrumental in helping re-shape the culture into one in which success was once again defined by winning at the highest levels.

“KG has had as big an impact as anybody I’ve been around in an organization,” said Danny Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations. “The thing that stands out the most to me about KG is his team-first mentality. He never wanted it to be about KG, individual success to trump team success. He lived that in his day-to-day practice. That’s something I’ll remember about him.”