How you like him now?

Now that the Oklahoma City Thunder's championship hopes are riding on the health of his hip, and now that his defense is desperately needed to contend with the best center left in these playoffs, how do you like Kendrick Perkins?

Do you now appreciate what "Big Perk" brings?

The faction of fans that have unabashedly bashed Perkins from the moment he arrived — writing him off as out of shape and overpaid — should.

This is when Perkins reveals his true value.

We're seeing as much now that a lingering injury to the Thunder's starting center continues to send a scare throughout the whole state as there still is no timetable for when Perkins will be on the mend.

Three days after sustaining a right hip muscle strain, Perkins still was unable to practice Tuesday. He remains day-to-day and will continue receiving treatment in hopes of returning to the Thunder's lineup in time for the start of the team's second-round series.

"In a couple of days we'll see where he is," said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "He's sore. But he just has to go through the process of getting better.