NBA

Kristaps Porzingis says his Game 1 performance reminded him how good he is

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APTOPIX NBA Finals Basketball

The mystery surrounding Kristaps Porzingis is finally over, as he proved he could return from his knee injury with the intensity his team needed from him in this NBA Finals series against the Mavericks. This Thursday evening, Boston started their championship matchup on the right foot, as they beat Dallas 107 to 89 at the TD Garden.

Followed by the big man’s 20-point contribution from the bench, he was surging with confidence after completing his return to the NBA courts. The Latvian also posted 6 rebounds and 3 blocks last night, and admitted after the game that he was reminded just how good he was. 

“Tonight was affirmation to myself that I’m pretty good,” the center expressed after his highly-awaited recovery. “I’m not perfect but I can play like this and I can add to this team. The adrenaline was pumping through my veins.”

Last night’s triumph was also a testament of Boston’s infectious teamwork, as each player is a star in their own right. For example, Jaylen Brown led the squad with 22 points, but there were five other teammates who also scored double figures in Game 1, including Porzingis’ 20, Jayson Tatum’s 16 and Derrick White’s 15.

The truth is, the Celtics always seemed deserving of winning the opening match of the series, as they were already 29 points up in the first half. However, Tatum is well aware that two seasons ago they lost the championship despite conquering the first game.

“Getting back to this point and being here is really a big deal,” said the All-Star forward. “But two years ago we won the first game and we know the outcome of that series. We still have a lot of work to do.”

The Boston club is currently seeking their first championship since 2008, which would become the franchise’s 18th title. After sweeping the Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals, they’ve had a 10-day layoff, which served as the perfect amount of time to rest and recover injured players like Porzingis. 

Kristaps’ teammates and coach were impressed by how quickly he was back and impacting the game after his six-week absence

After being out for six-long weeks, there was serious doubt around fans and experts whether the Latvian center would be able to impact the game just as he did before. The truth is, Porzingis wasn’t missed too much as Al Horford took his place in the starting lineup in spectacular fashion during most of the playoffs.

However, after witnessing his impactful return in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, his teammates sure are happy to have him back. “Was it the first or second quarter? He just went on a run where he just, he hit the three, hit the middy, then ran back, got the block at the rim in transition,” Jaylen Brown said. “He was just making play after play and it was just like, all right, he’s back, there was no question about it then.”

Jayson Tatum has another teammate who couldn’t believe how quickly the big man was back in it. “We’re a good team when guys are down, but we’re really, really special when we have everybody,” he said, also conscious of how badly the squad needs depth to fight for the title.

“I said it earlier, how seamless his transition was after being away for six, seven weeks, and coming into the game and having a first half like that, that was a big spark for us to start the game,” the forward added.