Will Kendrick Perkins’ Injury Blemish the Lakers’ 16th NBA Title?

When Kendrick Perkins went down in the first quarter of Game 6 of the 2010 NBA Finals, the course of the series inevitably shifted.

The Celtics suddenly lacked the big-man depth to compete with the long-armed Lakers and imploded in the final three quarters of Game 6.  A 20-point halftime deficit for the Celtics swelled to a 27-point Laker lead, and the Lakers set up a Game 7 on Thursday night with an 89-67 victory.

After the game, Celtics' coach Doc Rivers attempted to downplay Perkins' injury, saying he only had sprained his knee.  There was no hiding the severity of the injury the next day; Perkins showed up at practice and admitted he had torn two ligaments in his right knee .

Without Perkins, Boston will enter Game 7 without its most imposing physical force down low, and without its most effective defender of the Lakers' Andrew Bynum.  While ESPN's John Hollinger thinks the Perkins injury could end up being a positive for the Celtics , chances are, the public opinion will heavily favor the Lakers in seven.

Now, if the Celtics end up winning Game 7, they'll render this entire article moot.  Seriously, stop reading this if the Celtics have won the title. 

But if the Lakers end up winning Game 7, here's the question that hasn't been asked yet: Will Perkins' injury detract from the Lakers' championship in any way?

That's not to say the title will go down with an asterisk in the record books—obviously, injuries are a natural part of sports, no matter how unfortunate the timing may be.  The Celtics will still dress 12 players for Game 7.  They'll still have 48 minutes to go out, compete and win a championship. If the Lakers emerge victorious, they'll have earned every bit of their back-to-back titles.

Despite all of that, will this series end up becoming one of the greater "What if?" moments in recent sports history if the Lakers win?<...

About the Author