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Celtics’ Kristaps Porzing is another injury update ahead of the NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks

DALLAS – One of the important developments to monitor heading into the NBA Finals game between the Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics is the injury status of Kristaps Porzingis.

Porzingis has been sidelined since April 29 due to a strained soleus during the first round of the team’s playoff series against the Miami Heat. There is optimism about Porzingis’ potential availability to play Game 1 of the NBA Finals, but a timetable has yet to be revealed.

April 27, 2024;  Miami, Florida, USA;  Boston Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis (8) warms up before game three of the first round for the 2024 NBA playoffs against the Miami Heat at Kaseya Center.  Mandatory credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

April 27, 2024; Miami, Florida, USA; Boston Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis (8) warms up before game three of the first round for the 2024 NBA playoffs against the Miami Heat at Kaseya Center. Mandatory credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports / Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

After Saturday’s practice, Mazzulla described the team’s overall activity level as a “moderate” day, but Porzingis managed to do “everything” the rest of the team did. More should be known on Sunday when Boston has a more intense practice.

“He did everything,” Mazzulla said. “Tomorrow we will go significantly faster, but today was quite mediocre. He experienced everything the team did today.”

Porzingis was productive in the regular season, averaging 20.1 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 57 games. His averages dipped in the limited postseason action he had with Boston, averaging 12.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists.

Many view Porzingis’ availability as a potential swing factor for the Celtics. His presence as a shot blocker combined with his length as a finisher while also being a shooting option allows Boston to deploy a versatile style on both ends.

With Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving in charge, along with plenty of athletic wings who like to attack closeouts, the Celtics would love to have Porzingis on the backline to protect the rim. It helps the defender on the ball to get into the ball and try to take away jump shots off the dribble because he can get more help as he turns the player downhill.

“He does a great job of just making it difficult for them… It’s always nice to know he’s back there – whether he blocks or not, he makes them think about it,” White said of Porzingis’ presence. “It was really great to have him on our side… When he comes back and gets into the flow of things, it will be nice.”

Of course, there will be questions about how healthy Porzingis is or how well he will move when trying to guard defensively in space. The center position is a frequent target of the Mavericks’ offensive attack and they are coming off a successful run against four-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert.

Keep up MavericksGameday for more coverage of the Dallas Mavericks during the NBA Finals

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