OKC Thunder: Kendrick Perkins to miss time with strained left groin

Perkins suffered the injury Thursday night against Miami. He will be sidelined into next week, where he'll get further evaluation from a specialist.
by Anthony Slater Published: February 21, 2014
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photo - Kendrick Perkins played a season-low five minutes at Miami on Wednesday.  Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman Archives
Kendrick Perkins played a season-low five minutes at Miami on Wednesday. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman Archives

And beyond that, the Thunder will likely go small more, playing Kevin Durant at the power forward, which has worked out great in spurts. The Thunder has plenty of versatility.

But that's also where the Perkins injury also negatively affects OKC.

It loses a piece of that flexibility. While typically a liability against small-ball teams like the Heat, Perkins' defense is valuable against scoring big men.

He's one of the best low post defenders in the game, shown by opponent's 40.2 shooting percentage near the rim against him, fifth lowest in the NBA among rotation players who contest at least three shots per game.

In the season's final 26 games, OKC plays Dwight Howard twice. Next week, the Thunder faces Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph and Memphis. And on Sunday, they're up against Chris Paul, the lightning quick Clippers point guard who abused Adams on the pick and roll earlier this season. Perkins missed that game, and the Thunder lost.

Can they survive against these bigger teams? Can they thrive now that coach Scott Brooks is forced to go more versatile?

We're about to find out.

by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as NewsOK.com's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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