Rivers barely began heaping praise on his point guard before he uttered these words:
"You know, Kendrick was really great tonight."
When you are surrounded by such a flashy point guard and three future Hall of Famers, it might just take a preemptive measure for Perkins to get into the post-game mix.
A deeper look, however, reveals that Perkins has just as much to do with the Celtics' current 10-game winning streak as anyone else.
Take Saturday's 106-80 victory at Chicago, Boston's seventh in a row on the road.
In 22 minutes, Perkins had 10 points, five rebounds and three blocks. It was a workmanlike effort but was a bit lost amid seven players who scored in double figures, including Rondo, who also had 14 assists.
But it's on the other end of the box score where Perkins' best work is often revealed.
The two Bulls' big men, Joakim Noah and Brad Miller, combined for just 13 points on 6-of-18 shooting. Miller, who had four of those points in the game's opening minute, became slowly frayed with frustration until he left with a technical foul in his pocket and Boston ahead by 23 points.
Similar annoyance has been seen on the face of several opposing centers of late. During the Green's winning streak the opponents' starting center has averaged 9.8 points per game, with six of them scoring seven points or fewer on Perkins.
Perk, meanwhile, has averaged nearly 15 points in that span, is threatening the Celtics franchise record for field-goal percentage with a 65.4 percent mark and has seemingly eliminated the old bugaboo from his younger days.
"We're trying to get him to cut back on the cheap fouls," Rivers said when asked recently of Perkins' resurgence.
The 25-year-old Perkins has had fewer than four fouls in eight straight games, the longest such string since he became a starter three seasons ago.
The last time foul trouble was a serious issue came Nov. 20 when Perkins had five fouls in just 14 minutes and never reappeared after getting a technical in the third quarter of a 93-78 loss to Orlando.
That was Boston's last defeat and the also the last time Perkins was a non-factor. Although he is having as good a season as any Celtic, it won't be the last time he plays second fiddle.
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