I love Perk. I know that comes as a surprise, but every season I love this guy even more. He has one of the best work ethics in the NBA. He has improved every season and has also worked on his body and conditioning every season as well. He takes his role seriously and plays it to perfection.
And, Perk will always tell it like it is. A couple of days ago, the Herald quoted Perk about how the team was getting too laid back and taking teams for granted.
“We haven’t won nothing,” Perkins said flatly. “We’ve won eight games. That ain’t our goal. We’ve just got to see where we’re at and realize it’s not enough. We’ve got to get better. I think we’re getting too relaxed. I think sometimes we’re just getting too laid back right now. We’ve just got to start going after it.
Today, the Globe has a few more quotes from Perk, who has never hesitated to tell it like it is. It seems that the team has been too laid back in practice also and Perk doesn't like it.
“I think our energy’s been high, [but] these past few practices haven’t been good, I don’t think,’’ Perkins said after yesterday’s workout. “They haven’t been our best practices. We’ve been turning over the ball, just being sloppy the last two practices.
“I thought as far as Doc and the coaching staff, they had the right game plan for practice. As a team, we haven’t had the perfect execution for practice. We just gotta get back on the right track.’’
Maybe the stitches that Ray and Paul got have them playing tentatively in practice, or maybe they are just tired. Maybe the talk of them being old is starting to have some merit. But Perk is very right. They haven't won anything yet this season and if they expect to win, they need to get it together mentally. Personally I think their problems come from their attitudes more than from age or fatigue. I don't think these guys have that killer attitude that they had 2 seasons ago when they won the championship. They just aren't approaching it the same and it shows in their lax practices and lax defense in games. It seems like they feel they are good enough to just coast through games and then pull it out at the end. Here is more from Perk.
“I don’t think we’re attacking,’’ Perkins said. “I think we need to be more aggressive. I don’t want us to turn into a 3-point-shooting team. Obviously we got shooters, but we have to be a more physical team, rebounding, driving, I just think we’ve go to be more physical.’’
I think Perk hits the nail right square on the head with this one. When they won the championship, they were a tough and physical team. They took the ball right at other teams. They took the 3 when it was there for them, but their first thought was to attack. I haven't seen that this season for the most part. They have to end their fascination with shooting 3's and get back to pounding the ball inside and taking it at other teams. They need to get their defensive mindset back as a team where they swarm every player and don't allow anything easy. We haven't seen that in the last 3 games. But it is there. We saw it in the first 5 games. And if they listen to Perk, who is making a lot of sense, we will see it again. They are no longer the champs. And if they want to get back to being the champs, they have to focus on playing tough, physical basketball and they have to focus on defense again.
Perk is quickly becoming the vocal leader on this team. We saw it all those years ago when Perk was just a second year player and he called out Paul Pierce for lack of effort in a game. Now, he is calling the whole team out for their lack of effort and intensity both in games and in practice. And Perk doesn't point fingers. He starts with himself always. You can say what you will about KG and his leadership, but Perk is the anchor of this team. He is the anchor of the defense and now he is anchoring the team attitude and letting everyone know that any less than 100% effort is unacceptable. Have I mentioned lately that I love Perk?