We know that once players reach the Finals, no one is playing at 100 percent. But while some are merely trying to get through what Shaquille O’Neal used to refer to as “knick-knack injuries,” others are dealing with things much more serious.
Kendrick Perkins falls into the latter category, as reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via EOB):
Oklahoma City center Kendrick Perkins played the final three playoff rounds with a partially torn groin, league sources tell Y! Sports.
A report from the Oklahoman states that the injury occurred in Game 4 against Dallas in the first round of the playoffs, and has been a problem ever since.
This revelation will only have fans questioning Thunder head coach Scott Brooks’ plans in these Finals even more. He’s been consistently killed for his rotations, and Perkins was largely ineffective the entire series.
Perkins is as tough as they come, so it’s no surprise he tried to gut it out with the injury. But knowing what we know now, the question of why in the world Brooks would rely on him for over 23 minutes per game in the Finals — including 34 minutes in Game 3 — is one that, at some point, he should probably have to answer.