Latest Kristaps Porzingis Update Threatens Celtics' Round 2 Chances

The latest injury update on Kristaps Porzingis will have big impacts on the Boston Celtics in Round 2.
Mar 30, 2024; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA;  Boston Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis (8) looks on
Mar 30, 2024; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Boston Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis (8) looks on / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics are on the verge of sending the Miami Heat packing in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. However, heading into tip-off on Wednesday, fans are solely focused on the health of injured big man Kristaps Porzingis after going down in Game 4.

While initial word on Porzingis has indicated this isn't a long-term ailment, it appears this injury will still have a legitimate impact on the team in Round 2.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Tuesday that Porzingis is "expected to miss a minimum of several games" due to the right soleus strain he suffered in Miami this past weekend. This is, notably, the same injury that's held Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo out of his team's entire first round series to this point.

The fact a multi-game absence is the minimum expectation spells bad news for Boston heading into Round 2. Now the Celtics must field a lineup without Porzingis for the foreseeable, which suddenly shrinks their offensive upside without the mismatches he creates as a floor-spacing big and secondary scorer who can take the load off of Jayson Tatum.

One factor that could help the Celtcs weather this storm is the fact their second round matchup may not be determined anytime soon. The Cleveland Cavaliers and Orlando Magic are currently tied 2-2 in a tightly contested series, and their showdown could last all the way until May 5, which would be the date for Game 7 if it's required.

Assuming Boston takes care of Miami on Wednesday, that'd buy several days for Porzingis to heal, especially if Cleveland and Orlando go the distance.

Still, the fact we're talking games and not days with KP speaks to the severity of the injury. And the fact another star hasn't been able to play yet this postseason while dealing with the same thing doesn't bode incredibly well for the stretch big.

Porzingis' absence will undoubtedly loom over the Celtics as they prepare for a tougher test in Round 2.

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