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At Kristaps Porzingis' introductory press conference in June, he enthusiastically told Inside The Celtics of the motivation that comes from knowing his new team traded for him because they view the seven-foot-three center as the piece that can put them over the top in their pursuit of Banner 18, it's "The most, like, exciting feeling that you can get; just the idea of that.

"That's why, as I said, it made it super easy, and it made (it) my complete favorite option was to come here to Boston. And that fire that I got from that idea is gonna gas me up for the rest of the summer and for my time being here."

The Latvian native hasn't stopped smiling since.

Why would he? He's an integral part of the team atop the NBA standings, boasting a 43-12 record after blowing out the Brooklyn Nets, 136-86 in their last game before the All-Star break.

And while Porzingis isn't joining Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown in Indianapolis, Indiana, this weekend, he genuinely sounded more appreciative of how he'll utilize his time off.

Of course, he would've appreciated the recognition. But he's playing All-Star caliber basketball, and his priority is scaling the NBA's summit.


On offense, he's been essential to Jaylen Brown's growth as a facilitator, is a seven-foot-three floor-spacing center, which is especially valuable in crunch time, he punishes switches, an option Boston didn't have in its toolbox in recent postseasons, and his 3.5 points per game on post-ups trails only Nikola Jokic (4.7), per

At the opposite end, Celtics' head coach Joe Mazzulla cycles him through different coverages, asking him to go from playing in a drop to further from the basket and roaming on the weak side.

Porzingis is the most important X-factor in the NBA this season.


"I came here with an open mind" and "I'm just here to help us win," voiced the 28-year-old after Boston's victory vs. the Nets on Wednesday.

"Coming in, I understood this is, we're a championship-caliber team, and what is expected is to win, or the goal is to win," conveyed Porzingis. "And coming in here, there are things that are being done differently and on a much higher standard than on other teams that I've been on.

"From (the) top down, it's a really high-level organization. And us as players, we feel that, and we know that we have to show up each and every night. There are many small things I can point out. But overall, I would say it's been, as somebody said earlier, I haven't stopped smiling being here. I've enjoyed being here so much, and to be in this kind of organization, playing for these kind of fans, it's unreal."

Further Reading

Jayson Tatum's Approach vs. Nets Tale of Two Halves and Steadfast Commitment

Jaylen Brown on Altercation with Duncan Robinson: 'I Bet You He Won't Do It Again'

Brad Stevens Discusses Celtics' Plan for Final Roster Spot

Brad Stevens Sheds Light on Celtics' Motivations for Xavier Tillman Trade

Celtics Swing Savvy Deal with 76ers for Jaden Springer

Marcus Smart Shares How Boston Shaped Him, His Message to Celtics Fans

Celtics Maturation Molded by Experience: 'It Builds, Like, an Armor'

Jaylen Brown Quieting Doubters, Validating What He Always Believed: 'Earn Everybody's Trust'

Joe Mazzulla Discusses Identity, Evolution of Celtics' Offense: 'Balance of Pace and Execution'

Jaylen Brown Shares His View of What Defines 'Celtics Basketball'