Kendrick Perkins played quite a bit in the NBA Finals, despite being rather ineffective. Unfortunately, the Oklahoma City center caught quite a bit of flack for his performance. It turns out there was a reason that the big man looked less than perfect, though: He was playing through an injury.
Perkins doesn't seem like the type of player to issue excuses, but one was given for him on Friday morning (courtesy Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski):
Oklahoma City center Kendrick Perkins played the final three playoff rounds with a partially torn groin, league sources tell Y! Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 22, 2012
Playing basketball at the highest level with a "partially torn" anything is less than ideal, but starting in the NBA Finals with a torn groin is something else.
OKC kept the injury under wraps pretty well throughout the playoffs, considering Perkins started all 20 games the Thunder played in the postseason. However, maybe the team should have let everyone know that he was gritting out an awful injury, in an attempt to lessen some of the criticism.
Or, more logically, Scott Brooks could have looked to limit his center's playing time. That obviously wasn't in the cards either -- and now it makes even less sense as to why Perkins continued to find himself in the starting lineup.
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