The Boston Celtics welcomed back Kendrick Perkins Tuesday night. It was the first time the scowling center had suited up since Game 6 of the 2010 NBA Finals, when he tore both the MCL and PCL in his right knee.
Perkins played 17 minutes and finished with seven points and six rebounds -- a solid output considering it was his first NBA game since June. But Perkins being Perkins, he is already expecting more of himself.
"I've got to play a few more games first. I surprised myself on a few plays today, just finishing, a couple of rebounds, it felt real good," he said. "I know I can do better, I could do more. I was mad at myself, I didn't block any shots today. I was a little winded and a little off-key. I'll get better."
More good news for the Celtics and their fans: Perkins told Sporting News Wednesday morning that the knee is "feeling good this morning. It's not sore or anything."
And don't expect tension or a battle with Shaquille O'Neal to make the starting five. When he's 100 percent, the job is Perkins'.
"I mean, it shouldn't be," Perkins said. "Shaq has been great. Shaq's goal is win a championship -- he don't care what he needs to do to get that at this point. He wants to win that fifth ring and get on up out of here. We're trying for a championship. It's bigger than the both of us."