Miami Heat Legend Asserts Boston Celtics Excel Without Kristaps Porzingis

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

The Boston Celtics are two wins away from their first NBA championship since 2008, but Miami Heat legend Tim Hardaway remains unconvinced of one star's impact.

Hardaway recently shared on an episode of The Carton Show his belief that the Celtics perform at a higher level without center Kristaps Porzingis in the lineup. The point was brought up that the Celtics had a 30-5 record in his absence, but 13 of the 21 regular-season wins came against non-playoff teams.

"A lot of people disagree with me, but I think the Boston Celtics play better without Porzingis in the lineup," Hardaway said. "I think the ball moves better; I think they get up and down quicker; I think they rebound the ball better on the offensive end; I just think they are a better offensive team and a defensive team when he's not on the court."

Porzingis missed the Eastern Conference Semifinals and Finals due to a calf injury, where the Celtics lost a single game. However, his impact in Game 1 against the Dallas Mavericks puts Hardaway's take into serious question. The one-time All-Star recorded 20 points, six rebounds, and three blocks on 61.5 percent shooting, followed by a 12-point outing in Sunday's matchup.

Hardaway spent six seasons with the Heat from 1996 to 2001, where he was named a two-time All-Star.

Anthony Pasciolla works as a contributing writer to Inside the Heat. He can be reached at ampasciolla@gmail.com or check out his TikTok @apasciolla.

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Anthony Pasciolla

ANTHONY PASCIOLLA

Anthony Pasciolla is a sports writer who has contributed to FanNation's Inside the Heat since June 2023. He also works as a contributing writer for Basketball News. He has experience in photography, content creation, and graphic design.