Oklahoma City Thunder starting C Kendrick Perkins will not return to Game 4 of their first-round series against the Dallas Mavericks, as Perkins limped off to the locker room early in the first quarter with a hip injury:
Kendrick Perkins has a right hip strain and will not return.— Jeff Caplan (@ESPN_Caplan) May 6, 2012
Perkins hasn't been much of a factor in the series, as his ability to defend the low post is not needed against a Mavericks team who get very little offensively from the center position.
With his absence, Oklahoma City will likely go small with Serge Ibaka at the center position and Kevin Durant at the power power forward in the fourth quarter. Nick Collison should also see some additional floor time at both interior positions.
Without Perkins on the floor, Rick Carlisle may not use Brendan Haywood as much, which would be a big boost for Dallas.
Before he left, he did leave a lovely reminder on Haywood's face as to why he's one of the most disliked players in the NBA: