BOSTON -- Six months removed from ACL surgery, Celtics center Kendrick Perkins expects to play tonight against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Carolyn Manno first reported on SportsNet Cental that Perk would be returning. Big Perk will suit up and expects to play for the first time since he tore his MCL and PCL in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
Perkins was thought to be targeting Dec. 4 against Dallas as his return to the court, but he felt so good in his recent practice sessions that he moved up his deadline.
Perkins' return would be a huge lift for the Celtics, who are dealing with injuries to fellow centers Shaquille O'Neal (hip) and Jermaine O'Neal (knee).
WALTHAM, Mass. – Summer league was in full bloom and Boston Celtics guard Terry Rozier was killin’ it.
Swooping in for rebounds.
Young fella was having the kind of summer that breeds confidence for him as well as the franchise that shocked many in selecting him as high as they did in 2015.
But as well as he played, he knew getting on the floor wasn’t going to be easy because he would have to cut into the minutes of already-established players.
And then he got the news that Evan Turner was leaving for Portland after agreeing to a four-year, $70 million contract.
Turner’s departure meant Rozier’s chances of playing regular minutes had indeed arrived.
“Nobody wants to lose a guy like ET; great looker room guy, great down the stretch,” Rozier told CSNNE.com. “But that gave me even more of an opportunity to play and step up. It gave me a better feeling about this year, knowing I could get minutes.”
On Monday during media day, president of basketball operations Danny Ainge was asked about the void on the Celtic’s roster with Turner now playing for the Blazers.
“I miss Evan Turner already; loved having him around,” Ainge said. He’s not going to be easy to replace and neither will Jared Sullinger (he signed a one-year deal with Toronto). But we do have some exciting young players. Jaylen (Brown) and Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier … very exciting players. I don’t know who will get all of Evan’s minutes, but they will be shared and we can fill that void.”
But Turner’s 28.0 minutes per game will likely serve as a portion of the minutes Rozier will carve out for his own this season.
“I know he’s going to try and take some of my minutes,” said Celtics all-star guard Isaiah Thomas earlier this summer. “But that’s what it’s about; competing.”
Rozier’s competitive nature has stood out during his short time in Boston, with the 22-year-old finding a way to balance that with not being too pushy or too hungry to play.
“He’s an All-Star,” Rozier said of Thomas. “I look at it like this. To go up against someone like (Thomas) every day is a blessing.”
But Rozier soon adds, “I’m trying to get better, but I want to play too. Getting his minutes, anybody’s minutes, I’m going for it. But I know he’s not going to lighten up and make it easy for me. I know that. I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
And as he gradually establishes a role for himself on this team, maybe then people will warm up to a player that so many had doubts about when the Celtics selected him with the 16th overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft.
“I’ve been doubted all my life,” Rozier said. “It ain’t hurt me. I always tell myself, ‘they’re gonna fall in love with me because I play hard and they’re gonna fall in love with my intensity level. People didn’t know who I was; that’s fine. They’ll find out about me soon enough.”
Celtics forward/center Kelly Olynyk sits down with Mike Gorman and Brian Scalabrine on Media Day to talk about how the recovery from his shoulder injury is progressing and becoming more consistent this season.
Kyle Draper and A. Sherrod Blakely then discuss whether this is a make or break year for Olynyk, who will be a restricted free-agent at the end of the season.
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