SleepersJanuary 18, 2006


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Sleeper Watch

By Mike Antoine

Sometimes when you search for a sleeper, it’s clear as day that a player has potential. Sometimes, team circumstances fit just right for the emergence of a sleeper. And sometimes, a player re-emerges after having fallen back asleep since the last time you thought he was a sleeper. The latter is the case for Kendrick Perkins, power forward and center for the Boston Celtics.

In late November, against the lowly Atlanta Hawks, Boston center Mark Blount raked down one whole rebound the entire game, while Hawks center Zaza Pachulia (not exactly the most intimidating big man in the league) looked like an All-Star, lighting up the Celtics for 19 points, shooting 50% from the field, and grabbing 13 rebounds. That game was all Doc Rivers needed to see to seal his decision to send Blount to the bench and award a starting spot to Kendrick Perkins.

Upon the news that Perkins would be starting, the fantasy world was psyched to see what he could do with the opportunity. Excited to find out what Perkins could do on the boards (he had a nice 5.5 rebounds-per-game average in only 16 minute of play per contest in the preseason), we knew he had a chance to shine with a starting job and increased minutes. After all, earlier in the season, against the Bobcats, he had raked down 10 boards and recorded two blocks in the only game of the season, at that point, in which he had more than 20 minutes of play.

Though Perkins did not perform quite well enough to warrant serious fantasy consideration in November and December, we have since seen a trend in his performance that merits keeping an eye on. For the season, in games in which he sees 24 minutes of court time or more (a total of six games at an average 27:36 mpg), Perkins has the following stat line:

7.3 ppg, 61% FG% (on five shots per game), 10.8 rpg, 1.5 bpg, 1.5 apg, and only 1.3 turnovers per game.

Those are impressive numbers considering he’s never played more than 31 minutes in any game. With the recent Mark Blount trade rumors, be sure you keep an eye on Perkins’ playing time. If he starts to consistently play around 25 minutes per game, he could be just what you need to boost your FG%, rebounding, and blocks. All from a kid who’s only 21 and just starting to turn the corner in his NBA career.


 
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