Kendrick Perkins Makes Bold Proclamation About the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Entire NBA Should Take Notice

Kendrick Perkins’ imposing presence in the paint became his calling card during his NBA career. Now, it’s his booming voice and bold opinions.

Perkins has become one of the more captivating ESPN personalities in recent years. His past playing experience has allowed him to provide viewers with great insight. And recently, he made a bold proclamation about his former team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the entire NBA needs to take notice.

The Cleveland Cavaliers dominated the reigning champion Milwaukee Bucks

Casual NBA fans have wondered whether the Cleveland Cavaliers are the real deal or not all season long. But if they weren’t believers before, they should be now.

On Jan. 26, the Cavs stomped Giannis Antetokounmpo and the reigning champion Milwaukee Bucks, 115-99. The win improved their record to 30-19 and moved them to No. 3 in the Eastern Conference over the Bucks, Brooklyn Nets, and Philadelphia 76ers.

Point guard Darius Garland has been sensational for Cleveland all season long, and the game against the Bucks was no different. He had 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting, and he was 3-of-5 from 3-point range. He also had eight assists.

However, what led to the Cavaliers’ win was the play of their two stellar bigs, Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley. Allen had 10 points and 10 rebounds, and he used his defensive presence down low to hold Antetokounmpo, the two-time MVP and reigning Finals MVP, to 7-of-13 shooting. Mobley, the rookie, had 16 points, seven rebounds, and two blocked shots.

The win was certainly an eye-opener. And it led to Kendrick Perkins making a bold proclamation about the Cavs.

Kendrick Perkins had a bold take about the Cavs

Kendrick Perkins, who played in 18 regular-season games for the Cavs in 2014-15 and 2017-18, recently appeared on NBA Today. And he gave everyone a strong warning about this Cleveland team.

“When you look at this Cavs team, I’m watching them; they have these twin towers in Allen and Mobley, and the way that they’re protecting the basket is something beautiful to watch,” Perkins said on the Jan. 27 episode. “They might be the best defensive tandem as far as bigs in the NBA. … Then you have the setup guy in Garland. Look, Garland is a phenomenal talent. Something about Garland says ‘superstar’ written all over it.”

Perkins praised other role players like Isaac Okoro and Cedi Osman before calling head coach J.B. Bickerstaff “a Coach of the Year candidate.”

But his boldest claim was in regards to the team’s potential.

“When I look at the Cleveland Cavaliers, hear me out, in the Eastern Conference; their ceiling is the conference finals,” he added. “No team in the East wants to see them in the first or the second round. I’m saying it here right now.”

Really? The conference finals?

That may seem pretty bold, but Perkins’ take isn’t that far-fetched. The rest of the NBA needs to start taking notice of the Cavaliers.

The NBA needs to take notice of the Cleveland Cavaliers

Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo and Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love.
Kevin Love (from right) of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks for an outlet pass against Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks on Jan. 26, 2022. | Jason Miller/Getty Images

For anyone who doesn’t actually follow the Cavs, they might just think Cleveland has beaten a lot of bad teams, and it just so happened to have a good night against the Bucks.

That’s not true, though. That win wasn’t a fluke.

According to Daryl Ruiter of 92.3 The Fan, half of the Cavaliers’ wins have come against teams with a .500 record or better. ESPN even says they have had the fourth-hardest schedule in the NBA so far.

And their success has come despite losing their leading scorer from last year in Collin Sexton and backup guard Ricky Rubio to season-ending injuries. They have also been a team impacted by COVID-19 the most.

To put it simply: the Cavs are the real deal.

Garland is a terrific floor general who has become a solid shooter, and they start three big men who protect the rim at an elite level. In addition to Allen and Mobley, Cleveland has Lauri Markkanen as well. Kevin Love has also been a terrific player off the bench, while Okoro has become one of the better perimeter defenders in the league.

All in all, the Cavaliers have the requisite talent to go on a deep run in the playoffs, and they will likely add more of it before the NBA Trade Deadline. So, Kendrick Perkins’ take isn’t all that outrageous. The rest of the NBA needs to begin taking notice of the up-and-coming Cavs.

Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference

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