Kendrick Perkins ready to play enforcer for LeBron James. He’s looking at you, Jonas Valanciunas.

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LeBron James and the rest of the Cavaliers did not like the hard foul Jonas Valanciunas gave the Cleveland star the other night. After being the target of a couple flagrant fouls recently, LeBron said he needs to stick up for himself more.

Kendrick Perkins is willing to do it for him.

Which feels a little odd considering the rivalry Perkins’ former team the Celtics had with LeBron over the years, but Perkins is now a Cavalier. Perkins told Cleveland.com he would play enforcer, that essentially he would be the Marty McSorley for Wayne Gretzky (that’s not a perfect analogy, but live with it).

“(There are) time and places that you could get one off,” said Kendrick Perkins, the Cavs’ newly acquired backup center who is a card-carrying, on-court enforcer. “You’ve got to make sure it’s the right time. At the end of the day you have to make sure you go out and play basketball.

“Obviously (Valanciunas) was trying to send a message because he had been getting beat all day on the pick-and-roll, and it happens, but it’s just bull(crap) and it ain’t cool.”

Like the league is not going to be watching now.

You can tell the playoffs are approaching because play is starting to get a little chippy around the league. Games have something on the line a lot of nights now and that leads to more intense — and often physical — play. And that makes Perkins feel right at home, regardless of the color of his uniform.

(Hat tip to the legendary Matt Moore Eye on Basketball)