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#pounditFriday, July 12, 2024

Kristaps Porzingis’ status for Game 5 of NBA Finals revealed

Kristaps Porzingis looks on

Mar 25, 2024; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Boston Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis (8) in the game against the Atlanta Hawks in the first quarter at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Kristaps Porzingis did not play for the Boston Celtics in Game 4 of the NBA Finals despite suiting up, and that may happen again in Game 5.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Celtics view Porzingis as being available only if they need him in certain situations for Game 5 against the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night. That is the approach Boston took in Game 4 as well, and Porzingis wound up sitting out altogether.

“Right before Game 4, what I was told is they would only utilize Kristaps Porzingis in situational appearances — guarding the inbound, we need to shoot a free throw, we need to defend the rim on a lob threat potentially with 0.3 or whatever seconds left on a possession. I would expect the same here in Game 5 as far as him dressing and being available,” Charania said. “You saw some of his teammates come out and say how much he wants to play and how bad he’s working, but he’s just not there from a physical perspective.”

The Celtics were blown out from the start in Game 4, so it is not a surprise that they decided to keep Porzingis on the bench during their 122-84 loss. They also entered the game with a 3-0 series lead that has now been cut to 3-1.

If the Celtics get into a tight game on Monday and feel like there is a spot where Porzingis can help them close out the series, they will probably call his number. Although, one of Porzingis’ teammates this week offered some ominous comments about the big man’s latest injury. You have to wonder how effective Porzingis can be even if he does give Boston some minutes.

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