June 24, 2024

The participation of Boston Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis in the second round of the 2024 NBA Playoffs remains uncertain. However, it’s evident that the Latvian big man is diligently working towards his return to the court.

During Boston’s Game 4 victory over the Miami Heat last Monday, Porzingis sustained a calf strain, sidelining him for the remainder of the first-round series. Fortunately, the Celtics managed to secure victory over the undermanned Heat team, advancing in five games.

Now, the Celtics are set to face the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, with Game 1 scheduled to commence at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

Kristaps Porzingis remains optimistic but 'not super close' to returning  from calf injury - CelticsBlog

Although Porzingis will be absent for Game 1, the timeline for his injury recovery remains uncertain. During Monday’s practice session, Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla addressed the media, acknowledging his limited knowledge regarding Porzingis’ health status. Nonetheless, there were signs of progress, as reported by Justin Turpin of WEEI.

Mazzulla noted, “He seemed to be walking a little bit better. The thing about KP is he puts the time in. So a guy like him—every single day he knows exactly what he has to do and he puts the work in to be ready, whether he’s playing or coming back from an injury. I just saw him walk a little bit better but, you know, I trust his work ethic. I know he’s doing everything he can to get back as fast as he can.”

Kristaps Porzingis’ return to the Celtics lineup remains uncertain, with indications suggesting it’s unlikely to happen during the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

During the Celtics’ series against the Heat, NBA insider Chris Haynes reported that Porzingis was expected to be sidelined for the entirety of the second round, attributed to a soleus strain—a serious injury that warrants careful treatment. For context, Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks suffered a similar injury in April and missed the entire postseason, contributing to the Bucks’ eventual elimination by the Indiana Pacers.

While Porzingis avoided a season-ending Achilles tear against the Heat, his return timeline remains vague. Speaking about his potential return, Porzingis remarked on Saturday, “There’s no like specific date, obviously… But yeah, not super close yet. But expecting to recover at a historic rate,” as reported by Celtics in-house writer Taylor Snow.

During the regular season, the Celtics faced the Cavaliers three times, with Porzingis averaging 21 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game in those matchups. His absence presents a significant challenge for Boston, particularly given his role as the team’s top rim protector and his relatively good health prior to his injury in Miami.

In Porzingis’ absence, veteran center Al Horford is expected to step up, potentially facing off against Cleveland’s formidable big men, including Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley.

Historically, Celtics-Cavaliers matchups have been tightly contested, with 11 of the last 12 meetings decided by single-digit margins. Given this history and Porzingis’ probable absence, the series promises to be closely fought.

Kristaps Porzingis Discusses Target Date to Rejoin Celtics' Playoff Run:  'Doing Everything I Can'

While there’s speculation that Porzingis might consider a return for a potential Game 7, the Celtics are gearing up to face the Cavaliers with their talented but short-handed roster, prepared for a challenging series ahead.

 

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