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12.08.2008

Jury Duty for Kendrick

Who was that guy playing center for Boston against Portland and Indiana?

I didn't recognize him.

The jersey number was the same--43.

But where was the scowl?

The sneers?

The menacing gestures?

By the end of the game, I half-expected the guy to turn up one side of his mouth, if not both, you know, as if to smile.

We've seen a different Kendrick Perkins the last three games, and while some may argue that this simply reflects the disincentives from earning nine technicals in sixteen games, I say something more is going on.

Remember, this is a guy who "gets the hate on" before he even rolls out of bed in the morning. Larry Bird and Kevin McHale liked to say one reason they played so hard was that they manufactured reasons to dislike an opponent. Kendrick Perkins takes this animosity to a new level.

Which brings me back to my original point: What happened to the guy we've come to know and love for the past six seasons?

I think I figured it out. The Celtics hired a jury consultant. One of those people paid to employ a panel of mock jurors so the consultant can observe their behavior and advise the attorneys how to behave in front of them.

In Perkins' case, the consultant would be someone who's job it is to sit down and watch tape with Kendrick and show him the facial expressions and other gestures that get him off on the wrong foot with refs. Then that consultant attends practice and watches Kendrick.

Quickly the consultant sees something he doesn't like.

"No!" The consultant shouts. "You can't make that face, Kendrick."

"Nope, you can't make that one either. "

"And those arms up in the air? No, no, and no!"

"Whoa! That kind of talk is definitely off limits."

Then the consultant sits down with the big guy, and works on more socially acceptable ways to express his frustration and angst. I believe the experts call this "sublimation."

Whatever it is, someone or something has gotten to Kendrick. We'll see how long it lasts. But I'm encouraged that the change in behavior has had no impact on his performance.

7 comments:

FLCeltsFan said...

I love it! Perk is still the rock that he always has been but since at least twice he has gotten technicals for just the look on his face - not saying anything or doing anything- just looking, he may be trying to work on not looking quite so fierce. I love Perk! The guy just oozes effort.

Lex said...

Maybe he can start visualizing those looks inside his head while his face is neutral on the outside!!!

Anonymous said...

Is it me or has been getting more fouls called for him too? Seems he's gotten to the line about 10 times in the past couple of games.

Lex said...

I think you are right.

Hey, did you get a flashback to the 2005 indiana playoff series when perk got called to the line and missed both freebies?

Anonymous said...

I did! Glad he came back in OT and made two. I think he'll be adding FTs to the offensive moves he's working on now.

FLCeltsFan said...

Yea, I felt bad for him missing those freebies. You could see it on his face that he was really beating himself up over it. I too am glad that they went to overtime and it was great that he scored the first two OT points by hitting his free throws.

Lex said...

Perk and Rondo are more than holding their own this year.

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