The Key To Kendrick Perkins’ Foul Shooting
PORTLAND — After going 5-for-6 from the stripe Wednesday at Phoenix, Thunder center Kendrick Perkins might have stumbled upon the key to better free throw shooting.
“I probably just needed to get away from the crib for a minute and get on the road and try a new basket,” Perkins joked a the team’s shootaround Friday morning.
Perkins went 3-for-15 from the line during the Thunder’s six-game home stand. But Perkins was money when Suns coach Alvin Gentry began intentionally fouling him with just under five minutes remaining to make the career 60-percent foul shooter protect the Thunder’s 15-point lead.
Perkins made his first foul shot but missed his second. The first make, though, cleared a mental block and allowed Perkins to calmly make his last four attempts.
“I just needed to see one go in since I’ve been struggling,” Perkins said. “Once I seen one go in I kind of got a little rhythm.”
Perkins laughed at Gentry’s strategy and remembered that other coaches had used the strategy against him during his days in Boston. But Perkins said it’s up to him to make teams pay for putting him on the line.
“It happens, but I just got to keep working,” Perkins said. “Keep stepping up and trying to make the shot and really just go from there.”
When asked about the strategy, Thunder coach Scott Brooks essentially said bring it on.
“I like that strategy because it gives us two free throws. We don’t have to work for it,” Brooks said. “I believe guys are going to step up and make them…(Perkins) hasn’t shot the ball well from the line, but he has good form and he’s working on it.”
Guard Russell Westbrook did not participate in this morning’s shootaround. He was excused from the session to tend to a personal matter, a team spokesman said. The Thunder, however, is expecting Westbrook to play tonight.
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