Kristaps Porzingis expected to return from injury before start of NBA Finals

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If there is one thing that the Celtics have proved this season, is that they have enough roster depth to compete for the NBA championship. Ever since they lost Kristaps Porzingis to a calf injury in Game 4 of the first round, they’ve gone 9-1 without him. Even his replacement Al Horford has been putting up historic displays in his absence. 

However, they’ll need their versatile big man for the Finals if they wish to finally end their 15-year title drought. The question right now is, will he be ready to go on June 6 for Game 1 of the final stage?

As the Boston squad still awaits for their next rivals between the Mavericks and Timberwolves, the Latvian star has taken advantage of this time to finish his recovery. According to insider Shams Charania, there’s definitely hope that the center will return for the start of the last series.

“There’s definitely hope. There’s definitely optimism,” he said this Tuesday on the Run It Back show. “There are still some hurdles, I’m told, that he has to clear before he can play in Game 1 of the Finals, but there’s of course hope that this next week-plus will give him the time that needs to ramp up and get ready for that Game 1 next Thursday.”

Even his own teammates hope he’s back for their final championship run, as they need all the gunpowder they need. Payton Pritchard attended the press and even shared an encouraging update of the Latvian’s progress.

“He looks really good. I think he’ll be ready shortly,” the guard told NBC Sports Boston’s Abby Chin before they finally eliminated the Pacers in Game 4.

Not too long ago, even Porzingis shared his thoughts on his situation, but guaranteed he’s soon to be back in action. “Thank you to everyone who supports and sympathizes throughout the season. I’ll be back in line soon. See you in the finals,” he said in Latvian.

Different insiders shared their views on when they believed the Celtics big man will be 100% fit for the NBA Finals

Boston reporter Chris Forsberg admitted he felt “greedy” when thinking about Kristaps’ return, as he wants him to be in top form by the time he steps on court. “I kind of want him back in top form,” he said on Wednesday’s Early Edition.

“But I’m being greedy, right? Like, I don’t know where he’s at in his recovery. He talked to us very early on in the process. Everything seems super encouraging. … And you had the luxury of not rushing him back in this past series. So, will 10 extra days put him in a position where he can be something more than maybe just the 20 minutes you were hoping for? I’ll cross my fingers and hope so,” he added.

While Dallas seems to be the logical opponent for the upcoming NBA Finals, as they lead 3-1 leading into Thursday’s Game 5, Forsberg explained how Porzingis’ recovery wills serve as extra motivation for the occasion.

“The one thing I will say, it’s Dallas on that other side. A little bit of motivation after it didn’t work out there with Luka (Doncic),” he added. “And I wonder, not only personnel-wise do they need him in this series because of how good some of their bigs (Daniel) Gafford and (Dereck) Lively are gonna be around the basket, but just in general, I think he’s gonna look across the court and go, ‘I got blamed for this not working? That ain’t cool.'”