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Celtics coach offers update on Kristaps Porzingis ahead of NBA Finals

Kristaps Porzingis looks on

Oct 17, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis (8) sits on the bench during the second half against the New York Knicks at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics have reached the NBA Finals despite being without one of their best players for the majority of the postseason, and it remains unclear if that will change.

Kristaps Porzingis suffered a calf injury during Boston’s first-round series against the Miami Heat and has not played since. During a Wednesday appearance on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Zolak & Bertrand” show, Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla was asked if Porzingis will play in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, which is next Thursday.

Mazzulla said he is “not sure” but that Porzingis is “ramping up on the court a little bit.”

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported last week that there was a chance Porzingis could return by Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals. That did not happen, but the Celtics swept the Indiana Pacers. It is possible that Porzingis would have played had the series been closer.

Porzingis told reporters after the Eastern Conference Finals that he is progressing and “will be ready to go.”

Porzingis landed in Boston via a three-team trade last offseason. He averaged 20.1 points and 7.2 rebounds per game during the regular season and has looked like a perfect fit with the Celtics. He has not been needed thus far in the playoffs, but Boston will probably need his ability to stretch the floor against either the Dallas Mavericks or Minnesota Timberwolves in the Finals.

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