OKC Thunder Q&A: Kendrick Perkins preparing to guard a lot more pick-and-rolls

Thunder big man Kendrick Perkins discusses his defensive mentality for the team's series against the Spurs and defending the pick-and-roll.
by Berry Tramel Modified: May 25, 2012 at 4:57 pm •  Published: May 25, 2012
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Thunder big man Kendrick Perkins discusses his defensive mentality for the team's series against the Spurs and defending the pick-and-roll.

This is a different series for you. No Andrew Bynum. How much does that change your defensive mentality?

Perkins: “It's kind of going back to the Dallas series, where I had to guard Dirk (Nowitzki). Still got a great low-post player (Tim Duncan). Probably not as strong as Andrew but very crafty. Future Hall of Famer, arguably the best power forward. So I've got my hands full. But I know this series, I've got to guard a whole lot more pick-and-rolls. I think they ran 36 pick-and-rolls with Tony Parker and Tim Duncan. I gotta be ready to guard that.”

You guys struggled with pick-and-roll defense during the season. Has that gotten better in recent weeks?

Perkins: “I think we've got to make sure we stick to our elbows and boxes. Make sure our paint is packed. They averaged 48 points in the playoffs in the paint, out of 107 points. We've got to make sure we keep our paint compressed and get out to their 3-point shooters. Pick and roll is a team defense. Starts with the first two guys, point guard and center, stopping the pick-and-roll. But then we need everybody else behind it in a shell.”

Is the Thunder playing as well as it has all season?

Perkins: “I think so. Just keep doing the little things. Guys are coming together, not worrying about stats or who scored the points. Guys just trying to win. That's the biggest thing. We're sacrificing right now. We are playing pretty good. I still think we can take it to another level.”

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by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The...
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