close
close
Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

Celtics player Porzingis has a rare tendon problem in his lower left leg and is unsure if he will play in Game 3 of the NBA Finals

By meerna Jun12,2024

DALLAS (AP) — Kristaps Porzingis he hasn’t played a game in Dallas since the Mavericks traded him nearly 2 1/2 years ago, and now it’s uncertain whether he’ll play there in Game 3 of the NBA Finals for the Boston Celtics.

Porzingis is dealing with a rare tendon injury in his left leg that occurred in the third quarter Boston won 105-98 for a 2-0 lead in the series. The team said Tuesday it was day-to-day, and Porzingis said he would do everything in his power to play Wednesday night.

Asked if it was a pain tolerance issue or if it could do more damage, Porzingis said he didn’t know the details.

“I leave this decision to the medical staff who will decide whether I can go or not,” he said. “Nothing is going to stop me unless they tell me I’m not allowed to play or that I’m not allowed to play. That’s the only reason I wouldn’t be there.”

The 6-foot-10 Latvian center has a tear in the tissue holding his tendons in place. The Celtics said it was unrelated to the right calf strain that sidelined him for 10 consecutive playoff games before he returned last Thursday for the start of the NBA Finals.

Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla described the situation as a “serious injury” and said the team would not put Porzingis in any bad position.

“We made the decision to play outside of his control because of his importance,” Mazzulla said. “He will do everything in his power to play. We will leave this to our medical team. That’s really it.”

When Porzingis spoke to reporters before practice, he was wearing flip-flops instead of sneakers. He walked with a slight limp, and on his day off he wore a black sleeve covering his left leg.

Without going into details, he said he was undergoing treatment all day long and doing everything the medical staff told him to do. He was not on the court during the open portion of practice.

“I can’t trick them into letting me play,” he said.

Porzingis said he felt something after hitting his knees Sunday night against Dallas center Dereck Lively II, but he continued to play. He left the field in the last minute of the third quarter and only played about 3 and a half minutes in the fourth quarter.

After the game, Porzingis downplayed any injury concerns, saying he was optimistic and “will die on the field if necessary.”

On Tuesday, he said: “I live by these words. … I mean, I hope not, but when it comes down to it, I think I’ll win.

Returning to action in Game 1, his first career game after the first round, Porzingis got the Celtics off to a strong start with 11 points and two blocks in the first quarter of the game. Victory 107-89 finishing the game with 20 points, three blocks and six rebounds. Scored 12 points in 23 minutes in Game 2.

“When we have him, we are a much better team. Unicorn 7-4, right? He’s as talented as they come,” Celtics forward Jayson Tatum said. “Yes, we were successful and found ways to win without him. Of course, we are better when he is on the team and plays with us.

Porzingis, 28, was the fourth overall pick by the New York Knicks in 2015 and was an All-Star before an anterior cruciate ligament tear forced him to miss the entire 2018-19 season. They traded him to Dallas in January 2019, a deal that included seven players and two first-round draft picks.

Dallas traded Porzingis to Washington on Feb. 10, 2022, and the Wizards sent him to Boston in a three-team trade last summer.

When the Wizards played Dallas in January 2023, Porzingis was inactive after playing in 12 of the previous 13 games. He also didn’t play for the Celtics last January when the team visited the American Airlines Center in the evening after he had 32 points, six rebounds and five blocked shots in Houston.

“When I first came back, I hadn’t played the game, I was with Washington and I was warmly welcomed here. They even made a tribute video, which was very unexpected for me, but very nice,” Porzingis said. “I think the organization and the people inside appreciated my time here and it was very nice. …I don’t have a bad feeling about this place. I love this city, I love the fans, but it just didn’t work out.”

___

AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA

By meerna

Related Post