Perkins gives Thunder toughness, experience

FRANK ZICARELLI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:05 PM ET

OKLAHOMA CITY ó Kendrick Perkins isnít asked to score points, but heís made it a point of telling people that heís no saviour.

More than anything, his arrival in Oklahoma City signalled a key turning point to a franchise that has drafted wisely by taking full advantage of bottoming out, a process the Raptors are undergoing.

Teams must get lucky and the Thunder lucked out when Portland drafted Greg Oden instead of Kevin Durant.

There was no luck in OKC getting its hands on Perkins from Boston, using a young and emerging piece in Jeff Green to pull the trigger on a deadline deal that essentially gives the Thunder a legitimate chance of winning a title.

It may not arrive this year, but the team is poised.

All thatís left is to be playoff-tested, which is where Perkins fits the bill.

In Boston, he anchored the middle of the Celtics defence, providing toughness and an edge that canít be replaced.

Perkins, who turned down an extension in Boston, grew up in Beaumont, Tx., which isnít very far from here.

ďIím just trying to bring what I know to these young guys,Ē Perkins said. ďWeíve got a good group of young guys that work hard, stay humble and are talented. Iím just trying to do what I can to come in and fit in.Ē

He has and one day it wouldnít surprise anyone if Perkins is fitted for his second championship ring.


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