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News » Celtics center has his perks

Celtics center has his perks

Celtics center has his perksMagic star Dwight Howard thinks Kendrick Perkins does as good a job defending him as any center in the league.

Howard credits Celtics assistant coach Clifford Ray for developing Perkins into a legitimate defensive presence in the post. Ray worked with Howard in Orlando before he joined Boston's coaching staff.

"He was a big help to me," Howard said, "so I know he's really helped Kendrick grow. I'm real happy to see the progress that Kendrick has made and not just defensively, but offensively since he's come into the league."

Perkins could be the most consistent Celtic this season. He's averaging a career-high 10.5 points and 7.1 rebounds.

"Perk gets a lot of posts," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said, "after setting a pick for Paul (Pierce) or Ray (Allen), where the bigs on the other team have to help. That allows him to establish shop in the paint. When he catches it outside of the paint, he struggles a little bit. When he catches it in the paint, he's very difficult (to stop)."

Rivers credits Ray with finally helping Perk put the ball up quicker.

"You see him doing drills every day," Rivers said. "Just catching and going quick, catching and going quick."

Perkins accepted his role as a complementary player after the Celtics formed the Big Three.

"Honestly, that's beyond his years," Rivers said. "Most guys his age still don't."

Garnett still progressing

Kevin Garnett still hasn't regained his old form after undergoing offseason knee surgery. In his last four games before yesterday, he had grabbed only 22 rebounds.

"He's 100 percent healthy, but his game is just not here yet," Rivers said. "It's coming, but he's got a lot of things that are here. His jump shot is back for sure. His timing is still off a little bit. One day his quickness is there, the next day it's not. That's typical with injuries. It takes awhile, but we're in no hurry with it. We've kept his minutes down."

Defense is key to House

Everyone knows that Eddie House can shoot 3-pointers, but Rivers wants more from him.

"What keeps Eddie on the floor," Rivers said, "is the better he is on defense, the longer he stays on the floor."

House set a franchise record last season by sinking 44.4 percent of his 3-pointers. The 6-foot-1 guard entered last night shooting 43.2 percent from outside the arc, but only 37.1 percent inside it. House is much better at catching and shooting than shooting off the dribble.

"Even when he's not making shots," Rivers said, "you have to guard him and that opens the floor. But when he's not playing defense, then we have to take him off the floor."

Local colonel honored

The Celtics honored Col. Bonnie Keefe-Layden as part of its Heroes Among Us program. Keefe-Layden, who lives in Leicester and works in Sturbridge, served 33 years in the U.S. Army Reserves. During a tour in Kuwait, she established medical evacuation for injured troops and civilians. Her nonprofit organization, Rehabilitation Resources Inc., provides resident care and services for hundreds of people with developmental disabilities.

Ankle still bothers Allen

Tony Allen's surgically repaired right ankle hurts after he resumed practicing this week, and he doesn't expect to make his season debut for a while.

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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 24, 2009


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