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Rivers, Gentry praise Perkins

Before Friday's game, both Celtics coach Doc Rivers and Phoenix coach Alvin Gentry were effusive in their praise of Kendrick Perkins. After the game, Amare Stoudemire wasn't so kind.

Asked about Perkins' development and his maturity level, Stoudemire questioned why Perkins always seems so angry on the floor.

"He's a solid player out there," said Stoudemire. "He loves to get physical. He's aggressive. But he keeps a lot of confrontation going.
We try to play smart basketball. From my standpoint, we try to stay out of the confrontation -- really just go out and execute our plays offensively and defensively. But it seems sometimes, he wants to keep it up. He's always mean. Always mad. He don't never have fun out there. He needs to learn how to have fun on the basketball court and just enjoy his life -- enjoy the game."

Perkins, who registered 12 points and 7 rebounds in Friday's 110-103 loss to the Suns, got into a little shoving match with Phoenix center Channing Frye at the end of the first half. Both players were hit with technical fouls. That, in part, might have ruffled Stoudemire's feathers.

But before the game, Stoudemire's coach gushed openly about Perkins, pointing to his physical play as a positive for the Celtics. Gentry also noted that, while Perkins has been in the league for six years now, he remains only 24 years old and still has tremendous upside.

Told of Gentry's comments, Rivers said it was good for Perkins to hear, particularly since coaches are some of the few that tend to notice the little things.

"It's good for Perk, too, because he does have a role where you don't get a lot of notoriety," said Rivers. "You don't get notoriety for setting picks, rebounding, and playing defense. I wish guys like that got more of it."

Through seven games, Perkins is averaging 9.6 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. While his rebounding is down a touch from last season, he's increased his blocks, with 18 (2.6 per game) this season. What's more, Perkins is averaging just 2.1 fouls per game, after averaging about 3 per contest for the past four seasons.