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Major Boston Celtics news on Kristaps Porzingis’s status for Game 1 of NBA Finals

Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics dominated the Eastern Conference on the road to the NBA Finals, with much of the success coming without All-Star center Kristaps Porzingis. With a Game 1 matchup with the Dallas Mavericks fast approaching, it appears the Celtics already know where things are headed with their best big man.

Porzingis, age 28, hasn’t taken the court since he exited in Game 4 of the first-round series against the Miami Heat with a leg injury. Boston later diagnosed him with a right soleus strain (calf), followed by NBA news that he wouldn’t be available until at least the Eastern Conference Finals.

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However, he never came close to making it back to the court over the course of the four-game sweep against the Indiana Pacers. Instead, the long layoff between the NBA Finals provided Boston with a much-needed opportunity to give Porzingis the maximum window to rehabilitate his injury and work his way back.

Now, on the verge of a potentially franchise-defining NBA Finals matchup for Boston, with Games 1 and 2 held at TD Garden, there seems to be more definitive news on when the All-Star center will return.

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During an appearance on SportsCenter, ESN’s Sebastian Christensen reported that “all signs point to” Porzingis returning to the Celtics lineup for Game 1 against the Mavericks.

  • Kristaps Porzingis playoff stats (career): 15.1 PPG, 6 RPG, 1.3 APG, 1 SPG, 1 BPG

Getting Porzingis back would be monumental for the Celtics’ championship odds. During the regular season, Porzingis ranked ninth in the NBA in Player Efficiency Rating (23.2) and had the fourth highest Win Shares per 48 minutes (.226), ahead of Luka Doncic (.220) and Jayson Tatum (.189).

While there would likely be an initial minutes restriction early, an extended NBA Finals series should result in Porzingis returning to his normal role for the most important games.

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