Saturday, June 15, 2024

Kristaps Porzingis injury: Celtics star ruled out for Game 4 vs. Pacers due to calf strain

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The Boston Celtics announced on Sunday that Kristaps Porzingis will remain sidelined for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals versus the Indiana Pacers. Porzingis has not played since Game 4 of the team’s first-round series due to a calf strain. 

Furthermore, the Celtics stated that Jrue Holiday (illness) and Luke Kornet (wrist sprain) are questionable for Monday night. 

In Game 4 of the Celtics’ first-round matchup with the Miami Heat back on April 29, Porzingis rolled his ankle and was hobbling around for a few possessions. As he tried to play through the pain, he suddenly tensed up and immediately called for a sub. He limped off the court and has not played since. 

While the Celtics never announced an official timeline, it soon became clear they would be without him until at least the Eastern Conference finals. He has been making strong progress in recent days, however, and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski had reported earlier in the series that he could make his return as soon as Game 4. 

That will not happen, and given the nature of the injury and the Celtics’ 3-0 lead on the Pacers, it’s little surprise that the team is taking the cautious approach. The Celtics need Porzingis back if they want to win the NBA Finals, but it’s clear they’re capable of winning at least the Eastern Conference without him. If they can complete the sweep on Monday night, that would give Porzingis another 10 days off before the Finals begin on June 6. 

In his first season with the Celtics, Porzingis averaged 20.1 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game, while shooting 37.5% from 3-point distance. He was often regarded as a cheat code for this extremely talented team given his ability to protect the rim, shoot the 3 and attack switches in the post. 

They were only able to acquire him in the first place, and sign him to such a reasonable extension, due to his injury history. Indeed, he managed just 57 appearances during the regular season, and has now missed most of their playoff run. It seems he will be back for the Finals, though, assuming they don’t become the first team to blow a 3-0 lead in NBA history, and that’s all that matters. 

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