Latest Kristaps Porzingis update makes things go from bad to worse for Mavs

Peter Dewey
4 Min Read
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Celtics big man Kristaps Porzingis has a chance to return to the lineup for Game 4 of the NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks, according to NBA insider Shams Charania.

Porzingis missed Game 3 of the NBA Finals after he was diagnosed with a torn medial retinaculum allowing dislocation of the posterior tibialis tendon.

“I’m told there is a chance Kristaps Porzingis plays in Game 4,” Charania said. “He’s got that torn medial retinaculum – torn medial retinaculum. That’s a two-part injury. I got a little more information about it last night. It’s really some swelling that’s developed around that ankle area, but he is moving.

“And he is doing workouts, and he worked out yesterday. The Celtics medical staff just did not feel like he was really gonna be ready for a game-like environment. But, he did work out. And he’s expected to do more today, do more Friday. And as long as his movements are the way the Celtics medical staff wants to be, he does have a chance to play potentially in Game 4. You know he wants to be out there. It’s something he’s been working for all year. To be out there in a potential elimination game, that’s something that Kristaps Porzingis badly wants.”

Boston is now up 3-0 in the NBA Finals against the Mavericks after winning on the road in Game 3 on Wednesday night. The Celtics have yet to lose a road game this postseason, going 6-0 against the Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers and Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference before winning in Dallas.

A key part to Boston’s success in the 2023-24 season, Porzingis was injured in the second half of Game 2 of the NBA Finals.

He had a massive Game 1 performance for Boston, coming off the bench to score 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting (2-of-4 from 3) while grabbing six rebounds and blocking three shots. He followed that up with a strong Game 2 as well, scoring 12 points and picking up four boards in another Boston win.

While there’s no doubt that the former lottery pick would love to be on the floor for his team, the Celtics may want to be careful with Porzingis so he doesn’t risk suffering a long-term injury.

Plus, history is on Boston’s side in this series. No team in NBA history has ever come back from a 3-0 series deficit, going 0-156 all time.

In addition, Boston entered Game 3 with a 9-1 record in the playoffs without Porzingis (who missed time with a calf injury earlier this postseason) and extended that to 10-1 with Wednesday’s win.

If Porzingis does suit up, he will give Boston yet another weapon to protect the rim and score the ball at a high rate. The Mavericks and Celtics are scheduled to play Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Friday, June 14.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball, football and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.