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Kendrick Perkins providing leadership that some said he couldn't

Lakers coach Phil Jackson may have questioned Kendrick Perkins' leadership, but Perkins has proved to be an effective leader early in his time with the Thunder.
By Darnell Mayberry Published: March 20, 2011

When Perkins and Serge Ibaka had a miscommunication at Miami, allowing a Heat player to score with ease in transition, Perkins put everything on pause and ironed out the problem before inbounding the ball. When Charlotte guard D.J. Augustin blew by Russell Westbrook on Friday, Perkins got in Westbrook's face and delivered a few choice words to the All-Star point guard.

“We have a rule, no layups,” Perkins said. “I come from a system (in Boston) where everybody must look themselves in the mirror. There's no pointing the finger.

“Everything is not going to be perfect. But at the end of the day I feel like you can talk your way out of things on the court. So as long as you can communicate and play hard, I think you can cover up for each other's mistakes.”

Perkins only wants to talk on the court. In the locker room, he's kept quiet.

“I talk to K.G. a lot. One thing he told me is just lead by example,” Perkins said. “I try to come out and communicate and try to talk guys through things. I try to do less talking but more action.”

Perkins said it will be critical for him and Ibaka to get on the same page. The two, Perkins said, need to be in sync so much that they anchor the defense. They've got 13 games left to figure it out.

“One thing I learned about being a good defensive team is that your two big men got to be on the same page at all times,” Perkins said. “That means guarding pick and rolls and having each other backs.

“I want him to know at all ties he can trust me. If he takes my man, I'm going to take his. I'm going to have his back 110 percent. I think when you have two big men that can guard the pick-and-roll or lock up the paint, that's what makes a good defensive team.”