What Mavs Expect Kristaps Porzingis To Give Celtics In NBA Finals

0 13

Kristaps Porzingis hasn’t suited up for the Celtics this postseason since April 29, but with over a month’s worth of time to rehab from a calf strain injury, the 28-year-old could return just in time for the NBA Finals.

At least that’s the plan with Game 1 scheduled for Thursday night.

Porzingis, a former member of the Mavericks, isn’t exactly 100% just yet, however, Dallas is anticipating the 7-footer being a difference-maker either way. In the regular season, the Celtics went 43-14 with Porzingis on the floor and coming off a sweep in the Eastern Conference finals, Boston needs just four more to seize its first title in 16 years.

“They’re going to be pretty good with him,” Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd said during Tuesday’s practice, per Grant Afseth of MavericksGameDay. “When you look at the return, his ability to space the floor. You always talk about the offensive side, but we’ve talked about both sides — offense and defense — because he’s an underrated rim protector. Rebounds the ball, understands he fits in with their group. They’ve made him very comfortable. You could see that from day one. His ability to shoot the ball with range, put the ball on the floor, post up the small, puts a lot of pressure on your defense.”

Story continues below advertisement

Boston acquired Porzingis in search of a frontcourt presence that the team hadn’t had since (arguably) Kevin Garnett; a versatile, two-way center with an ability to score from within and beyond the perimeter. Porzingis averaged 20.1 points on 51.6% shooting from the field in the regular season before leading the team in blocks (1.5) in the playoffs and looming as one of the biggest storylines entering the Finals.

The Celtics have held their ground while missing Porzingis, going 8-1 after the first round, but are a significantly different team when Porzingis takes the floor alongside Boston’s starting crew.

“I’m feeling better each day,” Porzingis revealed Tuesday, per CLNS Media. “It’s been a long process, I’m not gonna lie. It’s been tough to sit out obviously, but I’ve tried to stay as engaged as I can with the team and be around the team and do my work and be with the team. … I look forward to getting some action on the floor.”

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.