Kristaps Porzingis’ status questionable for NBA Finals

Boston Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis is considered day-to-day after suffering what the team called a “rare injury” to his left leg in Game 2 of the NBA Finals.

The Celtics announced Tuesday that Porzingis suffered a torn medial retinaculum allowing dislocation of the posterior tibialis tendon in his left leg.


Porzingis’ potential absence opens the door for Dallas which is +550 to win the series at DraftKings. The Mavericks are consensus 2.5-point favorites for Game 3 on Wednesday, and the total sits at 212.5 at most shops.

The Celtics center is tied with Jayson Tatum for the second-best plus-minus in the series (+25). Should Porzingis miss time with this injury the Mavericks have a real chance at getting back in this series. 

In the postseason the Celtics have a +10.8 net rating in non-garbage without Porzingis. That is elite. However, they allow 2.7 points more per 100 possessions on defense, and opponents shoot 66.5% at the rim in those minutes. Through two games in this series Porzingis has five blocks and has been integral in Boston’s elite rim defense.

Porzingis’ ability to space the floor has played a massive role for the Celtics as well. His presence along the perimeter has forced Mavericks centers to guard along the 3-point line. That has opened the paint for Boston. In two games the Celtics are 34-of-41 (82.9%) at the rim. 

Joe Mazzulla must now figure out how to play the backup center minutes behind Al Horford if Porzingis cannot play. That would likely equate to a jump in minutes for Horford and an appearance from Luke Kornet. 

The minutes in which Kornet plays will be massive. He allows Dallas to stash its center defensively, and he does not provide the same spacing as Porzingis. The Mavericks could help their poor on-ball defenders by packing the paint once more.

At this point we do not know what Porzingis’ status is for Game 3 and beyond, but it is not hyperbole to say that his injury could decide this series.