Boston Celtics legend explains how Kristaps Porzingis will be impactful in Finals even if he isn't 100%

A certain Celtics legend describes Kristaps Porzingis importance in the Finals, even if he's not at full strength.
Boston Celtics v Miami Heat - Game Three
Boston Celtics v Miami Heat - Game Three / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

Kristaps Porizingis is still doing everything he can to be ready and join his teammates during the NBA Finals. The Celtics and Mavericks will be squaring off in Game 1 on June 6th. However, it's still in question how soon he'll return, but Celtics legend Paul Pierce believes that even if the Latvian center is not feeling 100%, he'll still make a huge impact.

“I think for him, the beauty about him is he doesn’t have to be the best player,” Pierce said of Porzingis (h/t “Just his presence alone on the defensive end, with his height and his athleticism to block shots, his shooting ability. That’s a presence that makes this offense unlock even more. … I know he’s not going to be fully 100% (healthy). His presence is everything to unlock that offense and defense.”

Porzingis is a great offensive player, but fortunately for Joe Mazzulla, he's just as good on the defensive end, too. His presence to deflect, alternate, and block shots serves wonders for stopping anyone who's coming down the lane.

It's amazing how good the Celtics roster is, comprising Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Jrue Holiday all on top of Porzingis — credit to Brad Stevens for forming a supreme squad. Those guys can handle the scoring while the 28-year-old protects the paint with every ounce of his body. That's a compromise everyone would be willing to make.

What has Kristaps Porzingis been doing to get into game shape ahead of the NBA Finals opener?

As shared by Noa Dalzell on X (formerly Twitter), Coach Mazzulla reported ahead of Game 1 that Porzingis "did everything the team did" in one of their recent practices.

It's encouraging to know that the star center has been getting reps like the rest of the team, giving fans hope that they'll be at "full" strength during the most important games of the year.

All it takes for the Celtics are four wins, a total of 16 quarters, and even more specifically, 192 minutes. No matter how you put it, this team is capable of raising another banner, and this team has what it takes, even if Porzingis is not at maximum capacity.