Kristaps Porzingis takes step forward in injury recovery ahead of NBA Finals

Jonathan Sherman
3 Min Read
Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics have advanced to the 2024 NBA Finals after dominating the competition in the Eastern Conference. What makes that dominance all the more impressive is that they did almost all of it without impact big man Kristaps Porzingis.

The Finals matchup between the Celtics and Dallas Mavericks is set, and in the buildup towards the series, Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla offered an update on Porzingis’ health.

Mazzulla’s update doesn’t offer a definitive answer regarding Porzingis’ availability for Game 1 of the series, but it does certainly inspire confidence that the Latvian native will be ready to go. If that ends up being the case, it will be a major boost for the Celtics.

While Boston is typically led by the duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, Porzingis offers a valuable third scoring option.

During the 2023-24 regular season, his first with the Celtics, Porzingis averaged 20.1 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game. He shot 51.6 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from the 3-point line.

His return to the court would also help create another interesting storyline for the series between the Mavs and Celtics. As many fans know, Mavs star Kyrie Irving spent time in Boston. Similarly, Porzingis spent a few seasons in Dallas with the Mavs.

Just like Irving will be playing against former teammates like Tatum and Brown, Porzingis will be facing off against former star teammate Luka Doncic.

It will be interesting to see if these close ties between the two teams make the series more respectful than normal. It could, however, also make the series that much more competitive.

It is a widely held belief that there is no love lost between Irving and the Celtics organization. While Porzingis might not feel the same way towards the Mavs, he may end up getting wrapped up in the competitive nature of the championship round.

All in all, it is great news that the 7-foot-2 big man is ramping up his activity heading up to the series. It would be a real shame if either team was not able to start the series as close to full strength as possible.

Based on Mazzulla’s update, it seems like a healthy Porzingis for Game 1 is a real possibility.

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Jonathan has worked as a sports writer covering NBA and NFL news since 2017. He's a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Vikings.