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Finding toughness without an enforcer

Posted by Julian Benbow, Globe Staff  March 22, 2011 09:00 AM

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Globe Staff

Having traded their enforcer Kendrick Perkins, the Celtics got into a blood matchup with the Knicks last night and walked out of MSG with a win.

He didn't bring it up in his column, but just as the scrum around Doc Rivers was breaking up last night in the tunnel at MSG, Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski asked Doc one last question. With Kendrick Perkins gone, he asked, did the team lose any toughness and was it something they had to reclaim? The question had obvious relevance with the Celtics playing a bloody game in Madison Square Garden.

Rivers said finding toughness may be something the Celtics have to do, but it's also something they may have once Shaquille and Jermaine O'Neal return.

"It's a good question and I don't know the answer because we don't have Shaq. Shaq gives you some of that when he's on the floor. So we don't have that or JO. Right know, yeah, probably there may be some[thing] where guys don't see him on the floor. Perk is a menacing looking dude. You watched him [Sunday] night, he was tossing bodies left and right. It was awesome. So that's just who Perk is. So not seeing him out there, maybe."
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