Perkins key to Thunder success

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Perkins key to Thunder success

BOSTON Kendrick Perkins is back, looking skinny as ever.

The body might look different, but Perkins is still Perkins.

And his play has been one of the keys to the Oklahoma City Thunder once again holding their own as one of the NBA's elite teams.

His numbers this season - 4.2 points and 4.6 rebounds - don't come close to speaking to the impact he has had on the Thunder who advanced to the NBA Finals a year ago.

"What he does day-in and day-out is perfect for what we need," said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "He's not a guy ... we're not going to go to him and say, 'Perk we need 12 points tonight.' He has to continue to bring that toughness, bring that spirit of competition every night and he does it. He does so many good things for us. Every good team needs a guy like Perk."

While Perkins would love to see his numbers improve this season, he understands that doing the dirty work that often goes unnoticed, is vital to his team winning.

"It's definitely hard," Perkins said. "It takes sacrificing. But at the end of the day, I'm trying to win. I know my numbers aren't where they need to be, but at the end of the day ... some games I might take eight, nine shots. Some games I may take none. But at the end of the day, it's about winning. I just try to find differnt ways to get involved."

Like setting screens which has been part of the high-scoring play of Kevin Durant and point guard Russell Westbrook.

"Perk is never going to have big stats," said C's head coach Doc Rivers. "That's not why you have Perk on your team. He just does a lot of other things. You can't put a number on identity or perception, but there is a number. Perk gives that team that."

Much of what folks praise Perkins for, are lessons learned from his playing days with Kevin Garnett.

"Kevin has an influence on everybody," Rivers said. "I thought he really helped Perk, not only on the floor but off the floor, being a professional. Game preparation, there's nobody better in our league than Kevin and now you hear Perk does the same stuff."

Even though they no longer play together, Perkins still calls on Garnett from time to time for advice.

"KG's my mentor, so I'm always going to call him and ask him about the game and stuff like that," Perkins said. "I know he's going to come out and try and take my head off. We'll be cool after the game, but I know what it is."

Perkins, about as candid a player as you'll find in the NBA, makes no secret about coming into tonight's game looking to make a point.

"You always have this certain type of chip on your shoulder being traded," Perkins said. "You always want to come out and show them what you missed. That's what it is."

But balancing that with playing against guys he's still very close to - he and Rajon Rondo still talk everyday - does make these games tougher for him than others.

"It's hard mentally," Perkins said. "You have to get mentally ready just to go against some of my brothers over there, but it's hard. But at the same time, I know they're going to come out and try and win the game like we're gonna try and win the game. At the end of the day, it's a lot of love and respect on both ends. I'm glad we're in different conferences so that if we have to meet up in the playoffs, it would be the (NBA) Finals."

Stars, studs, duds: Jae Crowder scores game-high 6 3-pointers

Stars, studs, duds: Jae Crowder scores game-high 6 3-pointers

BOSTON – Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Boston’s 123-111 Game 1 win over the Washington Wizards in their best-of-seven series. 

STARS

Isaiah Thomas: To be effective with all that he’s dealing with from an emotional standpoint continues to amaze us all. Thomas, just 24 hours removed from his younger sister’s funeral, delivered yet another gem of a game with 33 points on 11-for-23 shooting with nine assists with just two turnovers.

John Wall: Showing he’s more than just a guard with speed who can score, Wall finished with a double-double of 20 points on 9-for-20 shooting, to go with a game-high 16 assists.

STUDS

Jae Crowder: The Celtics needed a solid complimentary scorer to Isaiah Thomas, and Crowder was that dude during a critical third quarter stretch for Boston. He finished with a playoff career-high 24 points on 8-for-14 shooting with six rebounds. 

Bradley Beal: Half of one of the NBA’s best backcourts, Beal showed a much-improved postseason perimeter game. Having shot less than 30 percent on 3’s in Washington’s first-round series with Atlanta, Beal was 4-for-7 from long range which was part of his team high 27 -point game. 

Al Horford: Once again Horford flirted with a triple-double, scoring 21 points on 10-for-13 shooting, to go with 10 assists and nine rebounds with a blocked shot.  

Otto Porter Jr.: He was one of the few players for the Wizards whose plus/minus in Game 1 was positive (+3). He had 16 points on 7-for-10 shooting to go with 11 rebounds and two steals. 

Avery Bradley: The numbers don’t always tell the story when it comes to Bradley’s impact. He didn’t shoot the ball particularly well in Game 1, but he still managed to score 18 points on 7-for-20 shooting, in addition to grabbing five rebounds with four assists and four steals.

Kelly Oubre Jr.: He was a major factor in Washington’s fast start and with Markieff Morris’ knee injury, he may wind up starting Game 2. He finished with 12 points off the bench, shooting 5-for-8 from the field.

DUDS

Gerald Green: The Celtics remain undefeated with Green in the starting lineup, but his impact on Game 1 was nowhere to be found. He played just seven minutes without taking a single shot from the field. The only stat he registered was a turnover while his plus/minus on the floor was -13.

Taiwanese broadcaster had shocking call for Manny Ramirez's homer

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Taiwanese broadcaster had shocking call for Manny Ramirez's homer

A Taiwanese announcer's call outshined Hanley Ramirez's homer.

In a video that made rounds on the internet Sunday, the Taiwanese broadcaster delivered a laughable response to Ramirez's homer.

"This ball is long gone! Just like the ex-girlfriend who will never return! Home run!" the man yelled.

The hit took place a few years ago when he was in the Taiwanese league. He is now playing in Japan. But frankly, he many never have another home run as epic as that one. And he certainly won't get a call as epic as that one.

Watch the video in the tweet below.