Nazr Mohammed will start for OKC in the second round if Kendrick Perkins is unable to play
Thunder starting center Kendrick Perkins continues to get ice treatments and go through strengthening exercises in an effort to overcome the right hip muscle strain he suffered in the first quarter of Game 4 last Saturday against the Dallas Mavericks.
Perkins remains listed as day-to-day and his availability for the second round remains uncertain.
“He’s improving. He’s still going through the process of getting better,” OKC coach Scott Brooks said Thursday afternoon following James Harden‘s ceremony to receive the NBA’s Sixth Man Award. “He had a good workout session with our medical staff. We’ll see how he feels tomorrow.”
If Perkins is not able to play, Brooks said veteran Nazr Mohammed will start at center in the second round.
“If it becomes necessary, we’ll go with Nazr, but everybody will have to chip in,” Brooks said. “Kevin (Durant) will have to play at the 4 (position) more.
“Our fingers are crossed (about Perkins being available), but we don’t know. Nazr is getting most of the looks (in practice), but Cole (Aldrich) has been working hard all year and there weren’t a lot of injuries at that spot. When Cole has gone in, he’s always done well.”
If the Clippers can defeat the Grizzlies tonight, Eric Bledsoe will join Nazr, Rajon Rondo and Jodie Meeks as the 4 players representing the University of Kentucky in the second round of the NBA playoffs.