Kristaps Porzingis Overruled Celtics’ Medical Staff In NBA Finals

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Kristaps Porzingis ultimately was able to contribute in the Celtics’ title-clinching victory Monday, but it was never a sure thing that he’d make it out onto the parquet for Game 5.

Porzingis actually wouldn’t have, if Boston’s medical staff had their way.

Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla revealed as much in an appearance on Barstool’s “Pardon My Take” podcast Wednesday.

“It was like, ‘We don’t know how long this series is going to go on for, so let’s save him from himself. He’s trying to play, so let’s see if he can get through a game or two,’” Mazzulla said of the approach to Porzingis’ injury. “It was Game 5 at home, and we thought this might be it so he was like, ‘Hey, I gotta be out there.’ He was like, ‘I’m playing.’ He overrode the medical team there…it’s a credit to him.”

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Porzingis’ injury was always described as rare, but the severity wasn’t really quite known until it was announced he’d need surgery and a multiple-month rehab period this summer. Mazzulla shouted out the big man, sharing why it was important for the Celtics to give him a chance.

“He had a serious, serious injury,” Mazzulla said. “He worked his (expletive) off to get back, and what he brought for us in Game 5 was unbelievable and really led to winning. We have a guy that — in his career — has been through a lot, and sacrificed a lot. You want him to be a part of it.”

Boston will get one last opportunity to celebrate with the Miller Lite-drinking Latvian on Friday, as he’ll surely be a star of the victory parade before heading off for surgery.

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