Perk's last game as a Celtic he got injured (left knee) and then proceeded to miss 9 straight games. OKC went 6-2 without Perk available to them with the 2 losses to LA and Memphis. 6-2 is .750 winning percentage.
With the knowledge we had about our big men's health that season and our franchise's luck with injuries....there is a huge doubt that Perk would have remained healthy and effective the rest of the way.
If we didn't make that trade when we did, we probably wouldn't have had any health big at all going into the playoffs and zero backup help for Pierce.
We most likely would have lost to the Knicks in the 1st round.
*Note: Pierce was having a career year in FG shooting efficiency until February when he struggled shooting 42% overall and 26% from 3 point land.
I really believe trading for Jeff Green allowed Paul to return to earlier season form and finish the season strong in the months of March and half of April. In the Knicks series Pierce shot 46% from the field, 50% from 3 and 94% from the line, in a 4-0 sweep of New York.
**Note: Jeff Green in the playoffs played pretty well considering his playing time. He was very efficient, but he was not receiving a lot of time.
He played virtually the same amount of minutes as Delonte West and less minutes than Glenn Davis, less minutes than Jermaine freaking O'Neal who had a broken wrist, if I recall correctly.
Against the Knicks, Green's offense was a non factor, but we swept the Knicks regardless of Green's offensive contributions or lack there of....so no harm, no foul.
Against Miami, Green shot 54% overall from the field and 60% from 3 pt land. We lost to Miami partly because Rondo got hurt and largely because Chris Bosh out played Kevin Garnett over the last 2 games of that series.
***Note: Nenad Kristic is not a great big man, he was never a great big man or awesome rebounder, but what he was, was another body we could have used. And when we traded for him, Doc was using him...some nights he was playing 25 minutes or more, some nights he was playing 30 minutes or more.
But in the playoffs, Doc decided not to play Nenad at all. 7 minutes one game, 11 minutes another, 5 minutes, DNP, DNP etc. It appeared that Doc trusted a hurt Jermaine O'Neal over a live fresh body.
Bottom line with that Celtic team, there were a lot of other factors that derailed the team from contending in the playoffs that season.
- Rondo's injury
Shaq's failed recovery
Doc's refusal to play Nenad
Glenn Davis disappearing from April and all of the playoffs