Kristaps Porzingis played well to begin the NBA Finals before suffering an injury. His status for the remainder of the Finals was in question. Porzingis was made available in Game 4 but did not play, however, he did receive some minutes in Game 5. Boston Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla recently addressed Porzingis' injury concern during an appearance on Pardon My Take.

“We would have used him in like one of four or five different situations,” Mazzulla said. “If there was a critical jump ball… We would have put him in. If there was an end of game situation where we had to guard the rim…. Yeah if we were winning (Game 4) I would have put him in the game for a minute or two. Just because he sacrificed his whole career… To get to this point. To not be apart of it would have just devastated him. He had a serious, serious injury and he worked his a** off to get back. What he brought for us in Game 5 was unbelievable.”

Porzingis has enjoyed a strong NBA career, but he has missed a significant amount of time due to injuries. When on the floor this past season, Porzingis played a pivotal role for the Celtics. Boston may not have won the championship without him.

“When you have a guy in his career that's been through a lot and sacrificed a lot, you want them to be apart of it,” Mazzulla continued. “So yeah, I would have used KP in Game 4 under those circumstances.”

How bad was Kristaps Porzingis' injury?

Boston Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis (8) reacts after a play against the Dallas Mavericks during the first quarter in game two of the 2024 NBA Finals at TD Garden.
Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Porzingis suffered a left posterior tibialis dislocation in Game 2. The injury was serious as Mazzulla mentioned. The Celtics head coach was later asked how serious the injury was on Pardon My Take.

“We don't know how long the series is going to go on for,” Mazzulla said. “Let's try to save him from himself because he was trying to play. So let's see if we can get through a game or two. And then when it was Game 5 at home, it was like ‘hey this might be it, I gotta be out there.' He was like, ‘I'm playing.' He overrode the medical team.”

Winning a championship is the ultimate goal in the NBA. At 28 years old, Porzingis has enjoyed a number of memorable moments in his career. However, he wanted to be apart of the series-clinching game in the NBA Finals.

Of course, the Celtics were not guaranteed to clinch in Game 5. Nevertheless, Porzingis wanted to be on the floor in case it did happen. Sure enough, Boston cruised to a 106-88 Game 5 victory over the Dallas Mavericks.

Porzingis' impact on Celtics

Porzingis played in three games during the NBA Finals. He averaged 12.3 points and 3.7 rebounds per game. His best performance was in Game 1, when Porzingis recorded 20 points on 5-13 shooting from the field and 2-4 shooting from beyond the arc.

Porzingis made a big impact all season long. He averaged over 20 points and seven rebounds per game during the regular season. He was limited to only 57 contests, but Porzingis still impacted winning nonetheless. The decision to acquire him via trade last offseason paid major dividends.

The Celtics built their core of players around superstars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Adding players like Derrick White, Jrue Holiday, and Kristaps Porzingis have turned the Celtics into a contender to become an NBA dynasty.