Perkins averaged 5.1 points and 7.9 rebounds in 17 games last year. Somehow, he summoned the strength to supply the Thunder 25.2 minutes a night. But Perkins clearly wasn't himself.
“I give Perk a lot of credit,” Brooks said. “He was rusty. He didn't touch a basketball for eight months. But he came out. Not a lot of athletes will do that, put themselves in a position to be on the floor not at their best. But he gave us things that we needed.”
If 50 percent of Perkins could help the Thunder reach the Western Conference Finals, what can a 100 percent Perkins now do?
“We'll see,” Perkins said. “Obviously, when you get lighter you move quicker, you jump higher…blocking more shots, finishing at the rim and just being able to slide and do what I normally do.
“Before I got hurt, I was one of those guys who was able to switch out on guards and guard them at the perimeter on the defensive end without help. So I was just trying to get back to those days and even better.”
Perkins spent most of his time in Texas during the lockout. He kept somewhat of a low profile, but with the help of a strength and conditioning coach and a dietitian, he transformed his body into a slimmer, more chiseled physique.
His routine consisted of weights and cardio every morning from 9 to noon. At night, he would work on his shooting and play pickup ball. He also ate better.
“I was used to eating whatever I wanted. So I had to change up my diet a little bit,” Perkins said. “It was a lot of things that was healthy on the menu that I actually liked.”
It all made a huge difference.
“I feel a ton better,” Perkins said.