Brown is a longtime acquaintance of Thunder general manager Sam Presti. They worked together with the San Antonio Spurs from 2000-03.
It was Presti who traded Nenad Krstic and Jeff Green to the Boston Celtics for Perkins (and reserve guard Nate Robinson) on Feb. 24, 2011.
“Sam has done a marvelous job putting this team together, but from the outside looking in, that was the biggest move they've made,” Brown said of acquiring Perkins. “There are some really good bigs in the West, and without Perk they'd still be very good, but it could be tough for them with as physical as it gets in the playoffs, not having that guy in the middle to do combat or go against other bigs.”
The Lakers have 7-foot towers in their starting lineup with Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum. For many teams, their only hope to beat the Lakers is to double-team Gasol and Bynum, but not the Thunder — especially with Perkins on the court.
“When Perk's on the floor, they haven't doubled any of our bigs all season, and that's our strength,” Brown said. “We like people to double-team us. That's how we beat (Denver) in Game 7. They kept double-teaming and we finally hit some shots. They (the Thunder) don't have to do that.
“They're able to play anybody in this league straight-up, and a lot of it is due to Perk.”