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It's time to reduce Kendrick Perkins' minutes

Thunder center Kendrick Perkins' value has diminished against the Mavericks, which is ironic. The man Oklahoma City shied away from at the trade deadline two seasons ago is now exposing the man it acquired at this year's deadline, Darnell Mayberry writes.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: May 22, 2011

Scott Brooks made two declarations Sunday.

He will not change his starting lineup.

And he will not slash starting center Kendrick Perkins' minutes.

At this point, there's only marginal room for debate regarding the first decision. Multiple slow starts in this postseason more than prove the first unit isn't working and has run its course. But chemistry concerns have handicapped Brooks from pulling the trigger on tinkering with his first unit.

There is no excuse, though, for continuing to stick with Perkins so much. His value has diminished against Dallas.

And how ironic.

The man the Thunder shied away from at the trade deadline two seasons ago is now exposing the man it acquired at this year's deadline.

Mavs center Tyson Chandler is a nightmare matchup for Perkins. The 7-foot-1 Chandler is one of the most athletic big men in the league, and Perkins, a more plodding, traditional center, has had problems containing him.

In three games, Perkins has scored 15 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and blocked three shots in 82 minutes. Chandler scored the same number of points in Game 2 alone, and in Game 3, Chandler pulled down one more rebound than Perkins has corralled all series.

The evidence runs even deeper.

In Perkins' 82 minutes of playing time, the Thunder has been outscored by 32 points. With Perk on the bench, the Thunder has outscored the Mavs by 23. Furthermore, with Chandler on the court, Perkins' plus/minus per 36 minutes is minus-17.7, according to NBA.com's StatsCube data.

Perkins has the worst plus/minus of any Thunder player in this series.

By comparison, the Mavs have outscored the Thunder by 19 points with Chandler on the court. And Chandler has made his impact mostly against Perkins, compiling a per 36-minute plus/minus of plus-17.7 with Perkins on the court and a minus-15.8 with Perkins on the bench.

A simple remedy would be to reduce Perkins' minutes.

The Mavs don't throw it in the post to Chandler, which makes Perkins' superb post defense nonexistent. Worse, Perkins is a non-factor offensively, which allows Chandler to sag off and provide help on the Thunder's slashers.

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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