Is Kristaps Porzingis playing tonight against Dallas Mavericks? Latest update on Celtics center's availability for Game 5

NBA: Finals-Boston Celtics at Dallas Mavericks
Latest update on Kristaps Porzingis availability for Game 5.

Kristaps Porzingis missed Games 3 and 4 of the ongoing NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and the Dallas Mavericks. The Celtics center's postseason run has been marred with injuries. As Joe Mazzulla's Boston gears up to close out Jason Kidd's Mavericks at home on Monday, let's take a closer look at Porzingis' status.

Kristaps Porzingis injury update: Latest on Celtics star's status vs Mavericks for Game 5

Kristaps Porzingis is listed as available for Monday's Game 5 between Celtics and Mavericks. The one-time All-Star was seen working on his craft during practice on Sunday.

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Porzingis sustained an "unusual" left leg injury during Game 2 of the NBA Finals. Celtics described Porzingis' injury as a left posterior tibialis dislocation.

Ahead of Game 4, the former Maverick was declared fit to play by The Athletic's Shams Charania. As it turned out, Porzingis played no part in the contest as the Celtics were blown away by the Mavericks at the American Airlines Center, losing the game by 38 points (122-84).

On Sunday, Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla was asked about an update on Porzingis' injury. Mazzulla didn't give a definitive answer on the versatile center's availability for Game 5.

"He’s trying. He’s doing everything he can to put himself in position to be out there," Mazzulla told reporters (via Justin Turpin's X handle).

While Mazzulla refrained from providing a concrete update on Porzingis, Xavier Tillman offered a much deeper insight into his teammate's status.

Tillman said Porzingis looked uncomfortable during practice and was in excruciating pain.

"We'll see. Obviously, like they said, it's a rare leg injury, so if he's in excruciating pain and can't be his best, it might not be worth it," Tillman said (via Marca).
"When we go through our practices, he's doing some stuff but you can tell he's very uncomfortable. Like I said, we don't want to put him in any type of situation that really would hurt him," he added.

How have Celtics fared without Kristaps Porzingis?

It has been a stop-start postseason for Kristaps Porzingis. The 28-year-old missed 10 consecutive games before returning in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

The Celtics won the first three games of the finals, two with Porzingis and one without him. In Game 4 without Porzingis, Mazzulla's men were embarrassed with a 38-point defeat.

Whenever the Latvian international plays, Boston looks like a different beast altogether. His ability to post up, knock down jumpers, exploit mismatches, and block shots makes him an irreplaceable cog in Boston's roster.

Porzingis is averaging 13.5 points, five rebounds, and 1.8 blocks after playing six games in the 2024 playoffs. He is shooting 46.4% from the field, including 37% from the 3-point range.

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Edited by Parag Jain
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