Why Kristaps Porzingis is the center of the Celtics’ title hopes | Devine Intervention

Yahoo Sports NBA writer Dan Devine explains how the Boston big man makes the Celtics devastating on both ends of the court and title contenders. Subscribe to “Devine Intervention” - part of the “Ball Don’t Lie” podcast - on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen.

Video Transcript

DAN DEVINE: There are plenty of reasons why the Celtics enter the stretch run with by far the NBA's best record, best net rating, and best odds of winning the 2024 NBA championship. The all-star wing tandem of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, dynamite defensive backcourt with Derrick White and Jrue Holiday, the perpetually rock solid Al Horford.

The biggest reason that this year's Celtics are so devastating, though, is the transformational addition of Kristaps Porzingis. He's averaging 20.1 points per game on career-best shooting efficiency, while also being one of the best rim protectors in the league for an elite defense. Most importantly, he gives the Celtics a 7 foot 3 matchup nightmare that they can use to punish defenses that try to slow them down by switching.

In recent years, teams like the Warriors and the Heat have shut Boston's offense down by switching assignments and daring someone to beat them on the inside. Enter Porzingis, who's been the most efficient postup scorer in the NBA this entire season, one big reason why Boston boasts the NBA's best offense. Nobody's won more games over the past eight years than the Celtics, but they don't have any rings to show for it. If this version of Porzingis is the one that they get throughout the playoffs, the long wait for banner 18 in Boston might finally be over.