Celtics Notes: Kristaps Porzingis, Jrue Holiday, Jaylen Brown

Celtics forward Kristaps Porzingis does indeed intend to play in the NBA Finals against the Mavericks. Game 1 is Thursday at Boston.Kristaps Porzingis, Boston Celtis, NBA

“That is the plan right now,” Porzingis told reporters, via Zack Cox of the Boston Herald. “It’s a couple more days, and I think that could make a difference. Every day gives me a bit more time to get even better.”

Porzingis has been out with a calf strain since exiting Game 4 of the first-round series vs. the Heat. 

Coach Joe Mazzulla wouldn’t commit, but word is, barring a setback, Porzingis will play.

“He’s working on it,” Mazzulla said. “I thought he did a great job getting to this point. He’s going through the practices, and we still have to see how he responds to each day to what he’s doing from a physical standpoint. So I think he’s on pace and he’s doing everything can to get back.

“So we’ll see how he feels tomorrow and we’ll see how he feels the next day and we’ll see how he feels heading into the game.”

  • Guards Jrue Holiday and Derrick White realize they will have their hands full attempting to defend the Mavs’ superstar backcourt of Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving. “It’s hard, but it’s fun,” Holiday told reporters of the challenge that awaits. “They are the best scorers in the league and they’ve been doing it all their careers.”
  • Holiday could be the X-factor in the series. “Holiday, who won an NBA title with the Milwaukee Bucks in 2021, is averaging 12.7 points and 4.6 assists in the playoffs while playing his typical lockdown defense,’ wrote Greg Rosenstein of NBC News. “How Holiday guards Irving could determine whether the Celtics claim the NBA championship for a league-leading 18th time.”
  • Meanwhile, Jaylen Brown could get the call to try to defend Doncic. Though White is a pretty good defender himself. But Brown has more size and athleticism, which could leave White on Derrick Jones Jr. — perhaps a more fitting matchup for the Celtics.

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