Kendrick Perkins out for Game 7

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Thumbnail image for Perkins_hurt.jpgTragic news for the Celtics and their fans — Kendrick Perkins is out for Game 7.

He arrived at Staples Center today with his teammates, walking on crutches and with a heavy brace on the knee. Looking very down, he said he suffered a torn MCL and a partially torn PCL in his knee. An MRI will be done to confirm this diagnosis.

He added if this had happened in December he would have been done for the season.

Unfortunately, it happened instead at the worst possible time, both to him and Boston. The basketball gods can be cruel that way.

Doc Rivers admitted after Game 6 that not having Perkins makes it harder to match up with the long Lakers front line. More importantly, Perkins is a key contributor to the energy and physicality the Celtics bring on defense.

“He’s one of our guys that I think gives us great spirit, gives us a lot of toughness and gives us size,” Rivers said.

His being out will mean more minutes for Rasheed Wallace and Glen “Big Baby” Davis. Based on their performance these finals, expect Davis to get the start but Sheed to get serious minutes.

To a man, Celtics players are saying they just have to step up. Kevin Garnett said he may spend some time at the 5, and he is fine with that.

“Other than playing point guard, it’s very rare that I’m uncomfortable out there,” Garnett said.

Ray Allen was on that same track last night (about stepping up, not KG at the point).

“We have to push forward, and there are guys that are on the bench that can step up and make the plays that Perk is capable… or that perk has made over the course of our time here,” Allen said. “So you know, it does make Glen more valuable and Rasheed will play more minutes and definitely Sheldon (Williams) will be in there a lot more. We’re going to be counting on them.” 

Report: Kentucky’s Bam Adebayo staying in NBA draft

AP Photo/Jeff Roberson
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When De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk declared for the NBA draft, they jumped in with both feet, hiring agents.

A third Kentucky freshman, Bam Adebayo, took a more cautious approach – until now.

Jon Rothstein of FanRag Sports:

Adebayo is a borderline first-round pick.

He’s a ferocious dunker. All his best skills – motor, explosiveness, physicality – come together to produce slams.

But Adebayo is an underwhelming shot-blocker and rebounder, and those same tools should translate. That speaks’ to his focus.

He has a center’s game. But at 6-foot-10 with a 7-foot-1.5 wingspan, does he have a center’s size? Adebayo can’t step away from the basket or handle the ball, so if he can’t bang with NBA centers, he’s in trouble.

NBA: James Harden should have been called for offensive foul late in Rockets’ Game 4 win over Thunder

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The Rockets were trying to protect a two-point lead as they inbounded with 7.8 seconds left in Game 4 against the Thunder on Sunday, and James Harden wanted the ball. So, the Houston star pushed off Alex Abrines.

The play still turned chaotic – Russell Westbrook tipping the inbound pass and Eric Gordon recovering the loose ball – but it never should have gotten that far. Harden should have been called for an offensive foul, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report:

Harden (HOU) pushes off Abrines (OKC) to create space during the inbound.

A correct call would have given Oklahoma City the ball down two with 7.8 seconds left and a real chance to tie or take the lead.

Instead, the Thunder had to intentionally foul Gordon, who hit two free throws to effectively ice a 113-109 Rockets win. Houston now leads the first-round series, 3-1.

NBA: LeBron James got away with travelling before go-ahead 3-pointer in Cavaliers’ Game 4 win over Pacers

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The Cavaliers outscored the Pacers by just 16 points in their first-round series – tied for the narrowest margin ever in a four-game sweep. (The Warriors also outscored the Washington Bullets while sweeping the 1975 Finals.)

So, each Cleveland-Indiana game was close, including Sunday’s Game 4, which the Cavs won 106-102.

LeBron James hit a 3-pointer with 1:08 left to put the Cavaliers up 103-102, and they added a few free throws after intentional fouls to produce the final margin. But LeBron travelled with 1:14 left while making his move to get that 3-pointer, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report:

James (CLE) moves his pivot foot at the start of his dribble.

A correct call would’ve ended Cleveland’s possession and given Indiana the ball with a two-point lead. Instead, the Pacers had only one possession before they had to begin intentionally fouling.

Would Indiana have won if the travel were called? Probably, though the odds would have been only slightly better than a coin flip.

Would the Pacers have won the series if the travel were called? Probably not. No team has ever overcome a 3-0 deficit, and even a Game 4 win was far from guaranteed with a travel call. But they might have at least felt better about not getting swept.

Raptors’ Norman Powell had a couple monster dunks Monday (VIDEO)

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“Give all praise to Norman Powell with his energy, his athleticism, his passion, just everything he brought to us this series.”

That was Kyle Lowry talking about what his Raptor Norman Powell, who put up a career playoff best 25 points in the Raptors’ Game 5 win. Powell played good defense on Khris Middleton and drained some deep threes to help Toronto pull away in this one. Lowry was so impressed after the game at a press conference he told the media to ask Powell questions, not him.

Oh, and Powell threw down some huge dunks, too. Just check out the video.