Thunder center Kendrick Perkins took another step toward starting Game 1 against the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday at 8:30 p.m. at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
OKC coach Scott Brooks previously would dismiss any timetable of when Perkins might return from the right hip muscle he strained on May 5 in Game 4 against the Dallas Mavericks.
The last two practices, however, Brooks has chosen his words more carefully and given hope to Perkins' return, although the Thunder enforcer officially remains listed as day-to-day.
“He went through some of the drills (Sunday) in practice,” Brooks said. “He's taken a step in that direction (starting on Monday). We'll see how he responds after the day's work tomorrow morning. We can assess that better. He did participate in some of the work today.”
Two of Perkins' teammates where all smiles when discussing Perkins' condition.
“He went through practice today and looked good,” reserve forward Nick Collison said. “I'm sure if it never would have happened, he'd feel better than he does right now, but I think he'll be able to go.”
Thunder reserve guard James Harden said Perkins “looked good” and smiled before joking, “He looked athletic … finally. Nah, he's very healthy and he's ready to go, too.”