Boston Celtics may provide NBA In-Season Tournament a Willis Reed moment

The Boston Celtics may be providing the NBA In-Season a Willis Reed moment in its inaugural go-round.
Nov 13, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis (8) is introduced
Nov 13, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis (8) is introduced / David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA In-Season Tournament may have a Willis Reed moment in its inaugural run courtesy of the Boston Celtics: the injury return of Kristaps Porzingis when few would've believed it happening.

"There’s optimism Boston Celtics C Kristaps Porzingis (calf strain) will return to lineup this week," ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski prefaced before saying, "Porzingis is out for In Season Tourney quarters vs. Indiana Monday, but there’s increasing confidence he’ll be back in Vegas for IST Final 4 should Celtics advance."

Porzingis's calf injury isn't even on the same leg as the one that was dealing with plantar fascitis during the offseason; an injury that Porzingis described in a manner that's scary to hear about for Celtics fans.

“The foot hurts after exercise, I feel almost nothing when walking, it’s a really funny injury,” Porziņgis said (h/t CBS News Boston). “I have an idea what the origin of the injury might be, but it’s something that builds up over the course of a career and pops out at one point. It got worse during the training process — when it started to hurt, then I couldn’t get rid of the inflammation either.”

Al Horford has filled in admirably for Boston Celtics in Kristaps Porzingis's absence

The Celtics wouldn't have made it through the three-game stretch since Porzingis's injury -- and making it through is a misnomer considering Boston has won two out of those games by double-digits and won the other by six over the red-hot Philadelphia 76ers -- without Al Horford holding down the fort.

Horford, as our very own Ben Grunert pointed out, has upped his game substantially during the win-streak.

"Horford has increased both his scoring and rebounding numbers by a substantial margin," Grunert wrote. "Horford has averaged 14.0 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 4.0 assists over his last three outings. He has also notched 1.3 steals per game and 2.3 blocks per game while shooting 64% from the field and 40% from three."

When you're looking for the reason why Boston will always be fine in the frontcourt when the injury bug inevitably strikes Porzingis again and you find him, you can call him Al.