Kendrick Perkins plays basketball angry. Plays mad. Invents enemies to keep himself all lathered up.

That's why Perk scowls. Why he glares. Why he backs down from no confrontation and often accelerates them. That's why I call him Gran Torino. Why he yelled at the TNT broadcast crew early in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals.

Perk was mad, all right, but the truth is, he was mad at himself. Disgusted. Embarrassed.

The Thunder's two losses in San Antonio ripped at the core of Perkins' identity. The Spurs sliced up the Thunder defense, shooting 60.2 percent from the field over the last five quarters. And Perkins didn't like it. Didn't like it one little bit.

"I was disappointed in my Game 2 performance as far as … being the defensive anchor, what I've been all season," Perkins said. "I just wanted to go out there and do what I need to do and try to stop their pick and roll."