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What can we expect from Porzingis in Game 5? Mazola stock update

What can we expect from Porzingis in Game 5?  Mazola stock update

What can we expect from Porzingis in Game 5? Mazola stock update Originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

BOSTON — Can Kristaps Porzingis help the Boston Celtics celebrate their 18th pennant at home on Monday night?

That’s a key question entering Game 5 of the 2024 NBA Finals at TD Garden against the Dallas Mavericks. Celtics big man, who He suffered a “rare” leg injury in the third quarter of Game 2 He missed Game 3 in Dallas, but was made available for Game 4 Only on an “if necessary” basis.According to coach Joe Mazzola.

That need never arose, as the Celtics trailed the Mavs by 26 points at halftime and waved the white flag late in the third quarter. Blowout loss 122-84.

So, what are the odds of seeing Porzingis in Game 5 after back-to-back DNPs? Celtics Porzingis is officially listed as available Monday night, Mazzola shared an upbeat update on the big C-man.

“He is available. We expect to see him tonight,” Mazzola said in his pre-match press conference.

When asked if it was fair to assume Porzingis was further along on Monday than he was before Game 4, Mazzola answered, “Yes,” and when asked if the big man would be on any minutes restrictions in Game 5, he replied, “No.” “.

Porzingis had a fairly active practice about three hours before game time at TD Garden and seemed to be moving well.

However, earlier Monday, Shams Charania of The Athletic suggested the C’s would take a similar approach for Game 4 in making their 7-foot-2 big man available but only using him as needed.

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“I expect the same thing here in Game 5 as far as his attire and his presence,” Charania said He said Monday on FanDuel TV Turn it on again Displays. “I’ve seen some of his teammates come out and say how much he wants to play, but he’s not there physically.

“…Expectations of this Celtics team — at the very least, he’ll play a role similar to what he played in Game 4.”

Interestingly, Charania noted that Boston’s plan for Game 4 was to use Porzingis in very specific and limited situations, such as defending the inside player, guarding against a loose ball in the bullpen just before the end of the quarter or hunkering down to shoot a free throw. . So, either Porzingis has made a lot of progress over the past 24 hours, or Mazzola is engaged in a bit of game skills.

“When we go through our practices, he does some things, but you can still tell he’s very uncomfortable,” Celtics big man Xavier Tillman Sr. said of Porzingis on Sunday. Via John Zanis of CLNS Media. “So, we don’t want to put him in any situation that could really hurt him.”

Even with the Celtics just one win away from a championship, Porzingis’ long-term health must be taken into consideration. Boston won Game 3 without him and is 10-2 in the postseason in games he missed. While he’s undoubtedly a game-changer on both sides when healthy, it’s not worth risking further injury if he’s not close to 100 percent.

Porzingis could give the TD Garden fans a huge jolt if he enters Game 5, so perhaps Mazzulla can use him in short bursts near the final quarter to maximize Boston’s home advantage. But unless Porzingis comes off the bench in the first quarter and makes an immediate impact like he did in Game 1, the onus will fall on veteran Al Horford and Tillman to keep him consistent in the frontcourt on Monday night.

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Tip-off is set for 8:30 PM ET, with Celtics Pregame Live Starting at 7 pm