Kristaps Porzingis Available For Game 4

Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla announced that starting center Kristaps Porzingis‘ status upgraded to available for Game 4 of the NBA Finals against Porzingis’ old club, the Mavericks, according to Tim Bontemps of ESPN (Twitter link). The action is set to tip off on Friday night.

Mazzulla cautioned that Porzingis would “only be used in specific instances, if necessary.”

Boston has survived just fine without its starting center for much of the playoffs, though when he can play he has shown off an incredible two-way ability to both protect the rim and knock down jumpers.

Porzingis has only been healthy for five contests in this postseason run, but the Celtics have gone 11-1 in the games he’s missed, with sixth man Al Horford picking up the slack in his absence. Horford has started in all three Finals games, even when Porzingis was deemed healthy to play during the first two contests.

The 7’2″ big man was ruled out for Game 3 of the series due to a posterior tibialis dislocation in his left leg. Boston won anyway, 106-99, building out an intimidating 3-0 advantage. Never in league history has any team, in any round, climbed out of that kind of hole.

During the playoffs, Porzingis has averaged 13.5 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 1.8 BPG, 1.3 APG and 0.8 SPG in 24.8 MPG.

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