Joe Mazzulla gives positive update on Porzingis' injury rehab

Joe Mazzulla gives positive update on Porzingis' injury rehab originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Celtics have already punched their ticket to the 2024 NBA Finals, and one of the biggest question marks surrounding the Eastern Conference champs entering that series is the status of injured center Kristaps Porzingis.

Porzingis has not played for the Celtics since suffering a right calf strain in Game 4 of their first-round series versus the Miami Heat.

Will we see Porzingis in Game 1 of the Finals on Thursday, June 6 at TD Garden?

“I’m not sure. I don’t know yet,” Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla said Wednesday during an appearance on 98.5 The Sports Hub show Zolak & Bertrand.

“I do know he ramped it up on the court a little bit. Like I said, he’s working really, really hard. There’s been a couple shootarounds where he hasn’t done anything with the team but has been in a 1-on-1 setting kind of ramping it up with the intensity level of it. He’s been getting better and better.”

UPDATE (Wednesday, May 29 at 1 p.m. ET): Kristaps Porzingis made a post on X in Latvian on Wednesday.

Here is the Google translation of the tweet from Latvian to English:

"Thank you to everyone who supports and sympathizes throughout the season. I'll be back in line soon. See you in the finals ☘️ and then in the arena with your own 🙌"

Porzingis ramping up the intensity of his rehab seems like an encouraging sign.

The Celtics have won nine of their 10 games without Porzingis in the 2024 playoffs. That said, getting him back for the Finals would still be a massive boost for this team.

Not only is Porzingis a quality scorer, he's a very good rebounder and a strong interior defender. Porzingis averaged 20.1 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game in the regular season.

The NBA Finals matchup is not yet official, but the Dallas Mavericks have a great chance to join the Celtics. The Mavs have a 3-1 lead over the Minnesota Timberwolves in the Western Conference Finals. Porzingis played with Dallas from 2019-20 to 2021-22.