Countdown to LA: No what-ifs for Perk
The bi-annual Boston-Los Angeles regular-season tilt will undoubtedly unleash another round of local teeth gnashing about Game 7 of last year's NBA Finals. How could the Celtics hold the Lakers to 32 percent shooting and coax Kobe Bryant into missing 18 of 24 shots and still lose the game? What if Rasheed Wallace had bothered to be in peak condition throughout the 2009-10 season? Maybe then he wouldn't have been running on fumes in that critical fourth quarter. And, of course, there's the old, familiar lament for Celtics fans: What if Perkins could have played in Game 7? Surely the outcome would have been different.
Play that card if you like, but remember the Lakers toiled throughout the 2008 Finals without the young, oft-injured Bynum. "You really can't ever really say how a game is going to turn out," Perkins concurred. "I know one thing: I would have helped with the rebounding [in Game 7]. I would have helped with the defense. We only lost by four points. … Aw, it don't matter now, anyway.''Nathaniel S Butler/NBAE/Getty ImagesKendrick Perkins was unable to play for the Celtics in Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals after injuring his knee in Game 6 against the Lakers.
He's right. It doesn't. The Celtics have moved on and so have the Lakers. Perkins underwent surgery, completed a grueling rehabilitation program and made it back just in time to revisit the venue where his career collapsed in a heap. There have been tweaks to both rosters (Sasha Vujacic and Jordan Farmar are out, Matt Barnes and Steve Blake are in), but the nucleus of both rosters remains the same.
Click HERE to read the full story.
Play Podcast ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter weighs in on the Panthers' WR situation, Julian Edelman's future with the Patriots, Vince Wilfork's decision to ask for his release and more.
Play Podcast "Spanning the Globe" features ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss, Yahoo! Sports' Eric Edholm and ESPN LA 710's Mark Willard.
Play Podcast Red Sox manager John Farrell talks about whether he expected his team to make such a turnaround in one season, his relationship with his players, fans' expectations for the squad and more.