National writer has wild take on east playoff picture after Boston Celtics lose Kristaps Porzingis to injury

Boston Celtics v New York Knicks
Boston Celtics v New York Knicks / Steven Ryan/GettyImages

For The Win's Robert Zeglinski had a somewhat reckless take on the Boston Celtics' chances of making the NBA Finals with or without Kristaps Porzingis, who suffered a soleus injury in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Miami Heat.

The USA Today writer believes that the New York Knicks are in the catbird seat to upset Boston on the strength of their star, Jalen Brunson, and might've even had a good chance to knock the Celtics off before Porzingis's injury.

"If I’m gonna be honest, I wouldn’t have entirely trusted the Celtics against a hard-nosed Knicks team, even with Porzingis in a potential Eastern Conference Finals matchup," Zeglinski prefaced before saying, "The Knicks are one of those teams that defends incredibly, has a real superstar in Jalen Brunson, and constantly makes all the little winning plays. (Shoutout to Josh Hart.) They already had the capacity to beat a full-strength Celtics team. If that feasible matchup happens without Porzingis (just about three weeks from now), I’d be very comfortable betting on the Knicks’ chances of pulling off the upset."

Kristaps Porzingis's injury will prove if Boston Celtics 'stay-ready' group has stayed ready

There is major meme potential for Boston if they aren't able to get enough bench contributions to advance past the Miami Heat -- which, with a 3-1 lead isn't exactly something that should scare Celtics fans --, Orlando Magic/Cleveland Cavaliers and the Knicks or Indiana Pacers.

Dubbed the "stay-ready" group, the Cs second unit has to live up to their moniker with Porzingis on the bench. Payton Pritchard and Sam Hauser have already done their part, now it's time for Luke Kornet and Xavier Tillman to do theirs.

If the big men can capably fill Porzingis's role in limited minutes, leaving Al Horford to do most of the heavy lifting at the center position, the Celtics should continue their dominant run in 2023-24 throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs.

And if Porzingis is back, it'll be nearly impossible for anyone to pull off an upset in the east. Regardless if he's healthy, though, the Knicks are not deserving of being viewed as having any advantage in a potential Eastern Conference Finals series between the two teams.