Thunder veteran center Kendrick Perkins has now played 107 NBA playoff games in his career and speaks about the opening-round series against the Houston Rockets:
Q: Thunder coach Scott Brooks said he's open to suggestions from players, especially veterans like you, Derek Fisher and Nick Collison. Is that common?
Perkins: “No, it's not. That's what makes us special. We're all open to each other, so everybody's learning. Scotty's one of those guys who lets you talk and give your opinion. He may not agree with you all the time, but it's cool.”
Do you feel you should be on the coach's payroll?
(Smiling) “Nah, I'm good.”
You've said how it can be intimidating to opponents the way you guys have communicated defensively. Is that crucial?
“It is. We've got to make sure we keep communicating. We've got to make sure we communicate in transition. And when you talk about their plays, sometimes it makes them go away from what they want to do. So we're going to keep communicating, all five guys on the court and just try to control the game that way.”
Explain what you mean by intimidating.
“Sometimes they call out a play. I may hear the play called and call it out to the (OKC) bench and then tell the guys what they're running on the court and that can mess them up mentally.”
What are the advantages to going with a big lineup versus a small lineup?
“When we play big, I think we're a better defensive team. When we play small, we're a better offensive team. You've got your give-and-take on that.”
Did you like Serge Ibaka's block of James Harden in Game 1?
“Yeah, I see that so much, but it was nice.”
Houston has a lot of inexperienced players who are in their first playoff series. Do you think they're over the ‘Deer in the headlights' look?
“It's the playoffs. I don't feel sorry for them. If they did (have that look), that's their problem.”
BY JOHN ROHDE