Kristaps Porzingis injury update: Boston's star center hopeful to return for NBA In-Season Tournament
Kristaps Porzingis will not be available for the Boston Celtics when they visit Indianapolis to take on the Indiana Pacers in the NBA In-Season Tournament. The Latvian big man is dealing with a left calf strain he suffered several days ago, and he is now set to miss his fourth straight game.
Porzingis is part of Boston's official injury report and the franchise has confirmed that he will miss Monday's knockout game against the Pacers.
However, the Celtics are optimistic that Porzingis will be able to return later this week, as there are no setbacks in his recovery. The franchise is hopeful he will be available for Thursday's In-Season Tournament semifinal in Las Vegas should Boston eliminate Indiana tonight.
"He feels better than he did before. I think we’ll just try to continue to take it day-by-day and see how he feels," Boston coach Joe Mazzulla told media on Friday.
Given Porzingis' injury history, the Celtics want to be cautious with his status, so they will not force him to return unless he is 100% ready.
Kristaps Porzingis believes joining the Celtics was the best decision of his career
Kristaps Porzingis moved to the Boston Celtics during the offseason as part of a three-team trade. With his addition, the 17-time NBA champions created a Big Four with Jrue Holiday, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
Early in the season, the Celtics have made a great start and share the top record in the league with the Minnesota Timberwolves with 15 wins and just four losses. On Monday, aside from a chance to reach the semifinals of the NBA In-Season Tournament, Boston will also put its three-game winning streak on the line.
Thus, the absence of Kristaps Porzingis is a major upset for the squad, as the Latvian big man has been playing great on both ends and recently revealed that he is enjoying his time in Boston, and moving to the Celtics was the best decision of his career.
"At this stage of my career, 28 years old, [I've] been on a few teams, played with many different great players," Kristaps Porzingis said. "I have this experience and I have the maturity and I know the game much better than when I was early in my career, or even in Dallas.
"I've grown a lot. I'm enjoying basketball the most playing here, now at this stage of my career, and playing here in Boston."
Kristaps Porzingis has appeared in 15 NBA games for Boston, with averages of 18.9 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 1.9 apg and 1.7 bpg, on 54.7% from the field and 32.4 percent from the 3-point range.