Kristaps Porzingis return comes right as Boston Celtics need him for crucial stretch

After a tough defeat at the hands of a gritty Indiana Pacers team on Monday, the Boston Celtics are getting a massive boost on both ends for Friday night.
Boston Celtics v Orlando Magic
Boston Celtics v Orlando Magic / Rich Storry/GettyImages

He's back, or as Eminem would say, "Guess who's back, back again?" That's right, the versatile Latvian freak Kristaps Porzingis is available for the Boston Celtics' contest tonight against the New York Knicks at TD Garden. The news that No. 8's calf injury was not so serious was a massive sigh of relief for a team that needs the big man to reach the heights it intends to in the coming months.

Four games have taken place since one of the Boston Celtics' newest additions, and while Joe Mazzulla's crew went 3-1, his talent elevates the ceiling of this ball club up several levels. Time to get over that In-Season Tournament defeat. This upcoming stretch of contests is a true test. Prior to a long December west coast trip, the Celts have five contests on the parquet floor. All against ball clubs in the top-eight currently in the Eastern Conference. It's not only that.

Cleveland and the New York both possess length in the frontcourt. Without No. 8 in the rotation, it would be near impossible for Luke Kornet to hang. His contributions to the defensive glass will also be key over the next week as the Magic and Knicks are sitting in the top-four in second chance points per game in the association. With Boston giving the ball away 17 times in the defeat to Indiana, it will be a welcoming sight to see the player in the regular starting five with the fewest turnovers per game back in the fold.

Not only can he score over a Mitchell Robinson, but that ability to get shot-blockers like him out of the paint allows for the Payton Pritchard's of the world to get easy buckets inside. His high basketball IQ is something people don't often talk about with him. He's an incredible cutter, an impactful screener, and someone who can outsmart his matchup to allow for others to flourish.

They'll be questions about how much he'll actually play tonight coming off an injury, but no matter what, his impact will be felt while he's between the lines. His rim protection is something that Boston may not have realized it missed this much until it sees its influence again.

The former Knick has been a post-up machine so far this season, behind only Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in field goal percentage for offensive post-ups. He hasn't even shot the three ball at that well. Imagine when he finds his stride behind the arc. Even more nightmares for the opposition. These are some top-level defensive ball clubs on the schedule.

Remember what happened in Madison Square Garden? Yeah, that's right, Porzingis was straight up on one. He shot 5-9 from deep en route to a 30-point display while snatching eight rebounds and blocking four shots. Let us all envision that happening for a second time tonight.

With three top-ten defenses coming to town, Boston Celtics' big man Kristaps Porzingis a sorely missed luxury

The next few teams on tap have top-class half-court resistances. The next two opponents give up the fewest defensive rebounds of any ball club in the league. This is not Washington or Detroit up next. It's playoff teams vying to dethrone Boston from its place at the top of the Eastern Conference. This is the perfect time to return.

Creating momentum ahead of a long road trip out west is paramount. Gear up folks, the Latvian nightmare is back.