Celtics' Kristaps Porziņģis 'Has a Chance' to Play in Game 4 vs. Mavericks

The Latvian big man missed Game 3 with a lower leg injury, but could return to help Boston sweep Dallas.
Jun 9, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis (8) blocks Dallas Mavericks center Daniel Gafford (21)
Jun 9, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis (8) blocks Dallas Mavericks center Daniel Gafford (21) / David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The complicated and rare lower body injury Kristaps Porzingis suffered in Game 2 of the 2024 NBA Finals clearly did not affect the Boston Celtics all that much.

After it was reported Porzingis was dealing with a "torn medial retinaculum," the Latvian big man was ruled out for Game 3 shortly before tip-off. The Celtics leaned on Al Horford, as they had for the many games Porzingis missed earlier in the postseason, and turned to Xavier Tillman Sr. for backup duty and he delivered. Boston ultimately prevailed in Game 3, 106-99, to take a nigh-insurmountable 3-0 lead in the Finals.

The Celtics will look to finish off the sweep in Friday's Game 4 and early reporting suggests Porzingis could be healthy enough to help. On Thursday, The Athletic's Shams Charania said Porzingis "has a chance" to suit up for Game 4.

After Wednesday night's victory the Celtics are 10-1 without Porzingis this postseason. They have shown time and time again that they can win without their starting center. But Boston's Game 1 win over Dallas showed how impactful Porzingis can be when he's healthy and cooking. The Celtics won that contest by 18, the only game they've won by double-digits so far.

Wins are wins but Porzingis's presence provides a fairly large buffer for Boston. He averaged 20.1 points and 1.8 blocks per game during the regular season. That production can be compensated for by the extremely strong roster the Celtics boast but there's a trickle-down effect with Porzingis out there and healthy that makes everyone else's lives much easier.

Game 4 tips off at 8:30 p.m. ET in Dallas.


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Liam McKeone

LIAM MCKEONE

Liam McKeone is a senior writer for the Breaking and Trending News team at Sports Illustrated. He has been in the industry as a content creator since 2017, and prior to joining SI in May 2024, McKeone worked for NBC Sports Boston and The Big Lead. In addition to his work as a writer, he has hosted the Press Pass Podcast covering sports media and The Big Stream covering pop culture. A graduate of Fordham University, he is always up for a good debate and enjoys loudly arguing about sports, rap music, books and video games. McKeone has been a member of the National Sports Media Association since 2020.