Kristaps Porzingis Proves Crucial for Boston in 60th Win of the Season

The Boston Celtics won their 60th game of the 2023-24 season on Wednesday night, beating the Oklahoma City Thunder 135-100. The win secured homecourt advantage for the Celtics throughout the NBA playoffs. Although the Thunder were missing their two best players, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jalen Williams, the Celtics’ Kristaps Porzingis was the standout player of the game.

His performance reinforced his crucial role in Boston’s hopes of winning the championship. Porzingis scored 27 points on 11-of-14 shooting from the floor and 3-for-3 from beyond the arc. He also made 12 rebounds, five blocks, and four assists in just 31 minutes.

Porzingis took advantage of the Thunder’s lack of size and dominated in the midrange and paint. Every time he was matched up with a smaller defender, he would receive the ball and make a play. He either shot over the defender or passed the ball to one of Boston’s several dangerous scorers when the Thunder doubled him. The Thunder tried switching to a zone defense in the second half, but it didn’t work.

The Celtics got the ball to Porzingis at the free-throw line, and he would work his way through the zone. As JJ Redick observed during ESPN’s broadcast, getting the ball to a skilled 7-foot center in the middle of a zone is always a good idea. Porzingis is also a threat from beyond the three-point line, with a career 36 percent shooting rate. On Wednesday night, he was left completely open on several occasions, and his teammates would find him. When Porzingis is on, the Celtics are nearly unstoppable.

When he’s having a bad shooting night, he’s still a huge threat that defenses have to account for. In summary, the key to the Boston Celtics’ championship hopes is Porzingis. He is a dominant player and a huge asset to the team. When he’s on his game, it’s tough to stop him along with two All-NBA wings and two All-Star caliber point guards. Even when he’s not at his best, he’s still a significant threat.

Also check: “Joel Embiid’s Return Shakes Up Eastern Conference Playoffs”

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