Perk has a tough job tonight in holding off Shaq. He gives up some height, and clearly quite a bit of weight. As we know, this offseason Perk worked his tail off to lose weight, which helps him in certain matchups, but maybe not this one. In the past Perkins has had some issues trying to hold off O’Neal. Certainly his best defensive efforts have come against guys like Howard, Yao, and Bynum. None of these guys can really back him down, and can be easily thrown off their game with a little contact. Well Shaq doesn’t mind contact. Therefore, Perk has to hold him off and keep him as far away from the hoop as possible. That is easier said than done, as KG told us last year:
Its like holding up a wall for 48 minutes. Well hopefully Perkins is up to the task tonight. This is a key matchup as these two teams square off. I am sure if there is one thing the Cavs want to do, it is to show they are more dynamic than they have been in the past. They want to show that they can do it with more than just LeBron shooting every shot. I am sure James will take the majority of the shots regardless, but that “diversity” can be held in check with a strong outing by numbero 43.
Another way to limit Shaq is by going right at him. I say give the ball to Perkins and let him go to work early. O’Neal can tend to get a little foul happy, and can struggle to stay in games. Therefore, if the C’s go right at him, they may not even have to worry about his presence.
It should be a fun matchup as we watch the C’s quickly rising Center takes on another star of the league, with a chance to prove himself yet again.