Thunder’s Perkins motivated by Kerr’s correct criticism

19 Comments

Steve Kerr and the TNT broadcast crew called it like it was — Kendrick Perkins struggled on defense the first two games of the Thunder’s series against San Antonio. He was not able to contain Tony Parker when he showed out on pick-and-rolls, he did not recover fast enough to keep up with a rolling Tim Duncan.

If you watched the broadcast of Game 3, you heard Kerr and the broadcast crew refer to Perkins staring them down and calling them out. From the Oklahoman.

After at least two first-half defensive stops aided by his play, Perkins stared down the broadcast crew.

“Talk about that,” he yelled.

Thing is, Perkins played a lot better in Game 3. Like the rest of the Thunder defense. Because the Thunder switched everything Perkins even got isolated on Parker a couple times and shut the speedy French point guard down. Perkins blocked a Manu Ginobili jumper. That’s not his forte — OKC brought him in because they thought they’d be matching up with Andrew Bynum right now — but in Game 3 he was fantastic.

And the TNT crew acknowledged it.

Whatever you’ve got to do to get motivated. But should we really be blaming the TNT crew here? As KD at Ball Don’t Lie noted and NBA.com reported, Perkins himself admitted after Game 2 he struggled.

“In that last game Parker was able to get in there and get off his shots pretty easy,” Perkins said. “So tonight I said, ‘I want to see what you got.’ ” I wanted to challenge him. I wanted to make him really work for it.”

Game 4 in this series is going to be interesting. Very interesting.