The Dallas Mavericks trail the Boston Celtics 0-2 heading into Game 3 of the NBA Finals. However, former teammates Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis are both listed on the NBA injury report.

Doncic is currently probable with a thoracic contusion. The expectation is that he will play, but Dallas will monitor the situation throughout the day ahead of Game 3's tip-off.

Porzingis' status is less certain. The former Mavericks big man is listed as questionable due to a left posterior tibialis dislocation. Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla revealed that the decision to play will be out of Porzingis' hands.

“He's doing anything and everything he can to be ready (for Game 3),” Mazzulla said on Tuesday. “It's a serious injury. At the end of the day, our team and medical team is not going to put him in any bad situations. We've taken the decision to play out of his hands because the importance of him. He's going to do everything he can to play. We're going to leave it up to our medical team. That's really it.”

Porzingis addressed the situation on Tuesday as well, via Tomer Azarly of ClutchPoints.

“It's kind of a random situation,” Porzingis said. “I felt something, and now I have to deal with it. As we said, it's going to be day-to-day, and I'll see how I am tomorrow, and obviously I'm going to do everything I can to be out there tomorrow, and we'll see.”

So how will Porzingis' potential injury absence impact Game 3 and the remainder of the series?

Mavericks vs. Celtics amid Kristaps Porzingis' potential absence

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

The Celtics are obviously hopeful that the versatile big man will be able to play in Game 3 and the remainder of the series. Mazzulla admitted that it is a serious injury, though. In the end, the Celtics will leave the final decision up to the medical team.

If Porzingis ends up not playing in Game 3, the Mavericks will have one less star to worry about. Of course, Boston features a deep roster and there are still four other All-Star caliber players in Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Jrue Holiday, and Derrick White on the floor.

If Mavericks centers Daniel Gafford and Dereck Lively II are able to play well, the Mavs can earn an advantage in the post. Boston will be forced to rely on veteran Al Horford and Luke Kornet to crash the glass and score in the paint. Gafford and Lively have emerged as one of the better center duos in the league. They are able to control the boards and finish on alley-oops at a high level.

Porzingis causes problems given his ability to stretch the floor. If he does not play, Gafford and Lively will be able to remain near the basket for the most part. Horford can also stretch the floor, but he will not play the entire game. So Lively and Gafford may be able to take over defensively when Horford heads to the bench.

The Mavs big men need to be aggressive as well. They should be able to score at a respectable level. Nether player is known for elite scoring, but they both will have opportunities to find the bottom of the net at a consistent rate in Game 3.

For now, it remains uncertain as to whether Porzingis will play or not. The Celtics' final decision will go a long way towards determining the outcome of Game 3.