Analyzing The Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kendrick Perkins Signing


Feb 9, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder center Kendrick Perkins (5) during the game against the Denver Nuggets at Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

If your favorite team acquires a player that has career averages of five points and six rebounds per game you wouldn’t be so excited. Would you?  Well, you should be if that stat line comes in the form of someone like the newest member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Kendrick Perkins.

When the Cavs  acquired the veteran big man after a buyout from the Utah Jazz, they added a valuable asset to a contender. The Cavs have been searching for a formidable backup to Timofey Mozgov, and Perkins is the perfect choice to bolster a thin front line. Having a physical presence with the second unit can pay dividends for a team that ranks  in the bottom half of the league in opponent’s points per game.

Perkins excelled in Oklahoma City, serving as a brickhouse inside. He was also a vocal leader, calling out screens and helping stop penetration in the lane. These contributions don’t show up in the stat sheet but they are key ingredients to a championship team.

There are perfect examples in the last few championship teams. Last year the Spurs had Tiago Splitter, and the year before Miami had its “glue guy” in Chris “Birdman” Andersen.

The Cavaliers now pose a team that can be pretty intimidating. The likes of J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert provide toughness on the wings, while Mozgov, Perkins and Tristan Thompson man the middle.

Within the Eastern Conference there are some pretty opposing front line combinations, most notably Noah, Gibson and Gasol in Chicago and Millsap and Horford in Atlanta.

The Perkins factor will probably show itself most in the locker room. In Oklahoma City and Boston, he was known as a great locker room presence who challenged his teammates in practice. Now in Cleveland, Perkin’s influence will extend to young players like Thompson and Mozgov, as both are experiencing their first run as parts of a contending team.

The Cavaliers are a team still gelling, looking to improve on their chemistry as they head down an important stretch run. There are still questions of how Kevin Love fits in to coach David Blatt’s offense and how Love and Kyrie Irving will fare in their first postseasons. One thing for sure is if they don’t live up to their standards in the playoffs they’ll have a 6’10”, 270 pound giant in their ear holding them accountable.

By no means am I saying that Perkins will be the main reason why the Cavs hold up the Larry O’Brien Trophy in June. To be truthful he might only get 5-10 minutes on the floor per night and maybe even less when the Cavs are forced to go small. My excitement will come when you see him on the bench being the number one Cavs fan in the world for  his teammates or hearing from one of his teammates how competitive he is in practice.

Attitude — that’s what excites me about this acquisition. All of the great teams in history have had that “crazy guy”. There has always been that one guy that you don’t want to mess with. You love him when he’s on your team but hate his guts when he’s the opposition. Cavs fans, get to know and love Kendrick Perkins.

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