The Latest on Kristaps Porzingis' NBA Finals Game 5 Status: 'Somebody We Care for Deeply'

Jun 9, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis (8) reacts after a play against the Dallas Mavericks during the first quarter in game two of the 2024 NBA Finals at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 9, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis (8) reacts after a play against the Dallas Mavericks during the first quarter in game two of the 2024 NBA Finals at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports / Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports
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After a humbling 122-84 loss to the Mavericks in Game 4 of the Finals, the Celtics will have a chance to become NBA champions on their home parquet on Monday night.

It would help if they had Kristaps Porzingis in the lineup.

The seven-foot-three center averaged 16 points, five rebounds, and 2.5 blocks in the first two tilts, helping Boston seize a 2-0 series lead. Those performances include serving as the spark that ignited a 22-5 run and helped the Celtics build a 29-point lead en route to a 107-89 victory in Game 1 against Dallas.

Boston Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis dunks the ball during Game 1 of the 2024 NBA Finals.
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

As he fights to return to the lineup, Boston lists him as questionable on its initial injury report for Monday's matchup due to the left posterior tibialis dislocation that prevented him from playing in the last two contests.

It's an injury that Inside The Celtics spoke with orthopedic surgeon Dr. Robert Volk, who previously served as a team physician for the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, to understand how it might impact his performance, the risk of further injury and whether he'll require offseason surgery.

"Miss him a lot," said Jrue Holiday at media day at TD Garden on Sunday. "Top three-player on our team. Scoring, defense at the rim, blocking shots, comedic relief. So, it's been great playing with him, and we wish that he was out here with us."

Payton Pritchard voiced, "He's an unbelievable player, he's somebody we care for deeply, and he gives us a great boost," adding, "We're lucky to have him."

The former Oregon Duck also conveyed, "He definitely wants to play. He's a really big competitor, and I know he's gonna do everything in his power to get out there and put on that uniform with his teammates."

Joe Mazzulla shared before Game 4 on Friday, "We're only gonna use him in very specific instances if necessary."

Perhaps that remains true for Monday's potential championship clincher. Regardless of whether Porzingis plays another second in this series, should Boston lift the Larry O'Brien Trophy, he can hoist it with pride, knowing that, including in the NBA Finals, he helped contribute to Banner 18.

Further Reading

Celtics Discuss Keeping Mavs from Building on Dominant Game 4

Dependable Xavier Tillman Discusses Learning to 'Be a Star in Your Own Role'

Celtics Detail Keys to Perhaps Their Best Quarter This Postseason

Celtics Weather Late Storm to Move Within One Win of Banner 18

Sports Doctor Details Challenges, Risks of Kristaps Porzingis Playing in NBA Finals

Jrue Holiday's 'Championship DNA' Rubbing Off on Celtics

Stifling Defense Moves Celtics Halfway to Banner 18

Jayson Tatum's Joy Outweighing Pressure of NBA Finals Return

Inside the Moment that Propelled Celtics to NBA Finals Game 1 Win

Celtics Set the Tone for the NBA Finals with Game 1 Haymaker


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Bobby Krivitsky

BOBBY KRIVITSKY

Bobby Krivitsky's experiences include covering the NBA as a credentialed reporter for Basketball Insiders. He's also a national sports talk host for SportsMap Radio, a network airing on 96 radio stations throughout the country. Additionally, he was a major-market host, update anchor, and producer for IMG Audio, and he worked for Bleacher Report as an NFL and NBA columnist.