Kendrick Perkins reverses course about Celtics’ odds in NBA Finals


“I do have Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown hanging Banner No. 18 up in the rafters.”

Kendrick Perkins is now jumping on the Celtics’ bandwagon. (Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images)

Retired Celtics big man Kendrick Perkins has not exactly been a vocal supporter of his former team this season. 

From disparaging Jayson Tatum’s impact on this Celtics roster, to giving the Pacers a shot to upset Boston in the Eastern Conference Finals, to calling out Joe Mazzulla, Perkins has routinely called out Boston despite their dominant play this season. 

Even before the 2024 NBA Finals matchup has officially been set, Perkins has already warned Boston fans to not antagonize Dallas guard Kyrie Irving in a potential showdown — even with the star’s notoriety on Causeway Street. 

But speaking on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Felger & Mazz” on Thursday, Perkins finally gave the Celtics their flowers when asked about their title odds in the upcoming 2024 NBA Finals. 

“I’ve got them winning it all,” Perkins said of the Celtics. “I got — whatever team they match up against. I think if they played the Dallas Mavericks, I think it goes to a Game 7. If they play the Minnesota Timberwolves, I think it goes to Game 6. But I do have Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown hanging Banner No. 18 up in the rafters.”

Despite all of the recent discourse surrounding the Celtics, the capabilities of their franchise stars, and the path they took to punch their ticket to the NBA Finals, Mazzulla’s team has taken care of business throughout this latest playoff run. They’ve posted a 12-2 postseason record after winning 64 games during the regular season.

Even though Perkins has regularly criticized both Tatum and Brown and their shortcomings during previous playoff runs, he credited the duo as the primary reason why Boston will be able to overcome either the Mavericks or Timberwolves with a championship hanging in the balance. 

“At the end of the day, it’s going to come down to your superstars taking you home, right? Just for example, if the Celtics happen to match up against Dallas — it’s going to come down to Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum outplaying Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic,” Perkins said. “It’s the same way we’re looking at it right now —  Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards finally outplayed both of those guys and the Minnesota Timberwolves finally got a win. 

“So we’re talking about the best of the best, all across the board. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum just came out of a series where they both were averaging 30+ (points), right? They’re gonna have to elevate a little bit more, especially when you talk about going against the likes of Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving.”

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