Boston Celtics legends share worries about Cs without a healthy Kristaps Porzingis

Miami Heat v Boston Celtics - Game One
Miami Heat v Boston Celtics - Game One / Winslow Townson/GettyImages

Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce shared their worries about the Boston Celtics without Kristaps Porzingis in the lineup following his calf strain that may keep him out until the Eastern Conference Finals or later during their Ticket & The Truth podcast.

KG doesn't believe the Celtics are as effective sans the Latvian center starting at the 5.

“Porzingis is a big part of why we view the Celtics as damn near unstoppable or we got them on this higher tier just because of what he brings,” Garnett said (h/t “I think that if he’s not indefinitely out, I think that the Celtics are good enough to still keep going. … The Celtics are not the same team without him.”

Pierce believes Boston could only go so far without their third-leading scorer during the regular season.

“I think they can … maybe … get through round two. But once you start getting to the Conference Finals, it’s a different ball game,” Paul Pierce said. “You need him.”

Boston Celtics risk overextending Al Horford without a healthy Kristaps Porzingis

One of the hidden drawbacks of not having Porzingis, beyond not having his contributions in the lineup, is the potential to overextend Al Horford. At 37 years old -- 38 by the time the NBA Finals would start if Boston can make it that far --, Horford is no spring chicken.

And while he hasn't had a long list of injuries throughout his career, there's more of an injury risk these playoffs than ever if Joe Mazzulla plays him for the majority of the minutes at the 5.

Luke Kornet will be asked to pick up a lot of slack, but there's no guarantee he's up for the job. Certainly, Mazzulla won't want to rely on trade deadline acquisition Xavier Tillman to swing a postseason series.

Horford has to play 36+ minutes per game in the second round, and may have to do the same in the Eastern Conference Finals. It's a tough ask, but it's what Horford needs to do if he wants to win his first ring.