But if Perkins must miss a game or two, Oklahoma City still should be able to compete with confidence. Two years ago, long before Perkins was anywhere near OKC's radar, the Thunder had marginal success against the Lakers in the postseason. Oklahoma City eventually lost the series 4-2 but came within a Pau Gasol tip-in of forcing a Game 7.
Bynum averaged only 12 points, nine rebounds and 2.3 blocks in 30 minutes per game.
Could that history of success come in handy again?
“That's a good question,” Brooks said. “I haven't thought of it that way. We're so different and they're a different team. We feel like we can have success against whoever we play as long as we continue to work and do the things that make us successful offensively and defensively.”
The good news for the Thunder is, as a team, it has gotten bigger and better, stronger and faster since that Lakers series.
But so has Bynum.
After averaging 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds in the regular season, both career-highs, Bynum has averaged 18.5 points, 10.3 rebounds and 4.25 blocks in 38 minutes through four playoff games.
The Thunder can lean on reserve centers Nazr Mohammed and Cole Aldrich a bit against Bynum, and power forwards Serge Ibaka and Nick Collison each can play center as well.
“We have guys that are capable of playing good minutes for us and putting us in good positions to continue to have success,” Brooks said. “We're not going down that road yet until we have to. But they worked all year to be ready and if it happens they will be ready. We'll find ways to continue to have success.”