In a long conversation with the Los Angeles media after a charity golf tournament, Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Scott Brooks talked about how his team matches up with the new-look LA Lakers as well as the balance of power in the NBA.
While Brooks paid respect to Dwight Howard, he pointed out that the presence of Kendrick Perkins could somewhat blunt Howard's impact in a possible Western Conference Finals:
"He gives us an edge," Brooks said. "He hates his opponent. He's not happy unless he's unhappy. His teammates love him. He's always in a bad mood. I love guys who go out on the court and compete. He's not shaking hands and trying to be buddy buddy. He respects them, but he's going to try to beat them and then move on."
Perkins, a brick wall of a center at 6'10 270, is one of the only big men in the NBA with the raw strength to prevent Howard from sealing his him in the paint and dunking on him.
However, his lack of foot-speed killed the Thunder in the NBA Finals, as the Miami Heat attacked him off the dribble and ignored him on defense.
So while his toughness is nice, Brooks will have to remember that match-ups are still the name of the game in the playoffs.