Home Sports What will Celtics do at center vs. Pacers in Porzingis’ absence?

What will Celtics do at center vs. Pacers in Porzingis’ absence?

0 comment
What will Celtics do at center vs. Pacers in Porzingis' absence?

What will the Celtics do at center against the Pacers in Porzingis’ absence? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Celtics will be without center Kristaps Porzingis to begin their Eastern Conference Finals series against the Indiana Pacers.

The team Porzingis officially ruled out for the first game Tuesday night at TD Garden. The veteran center suffered an injury to his right calf against the Miami Heat in the fourth game of the first round and hasn’t played since.

In a new episode of NBC Sports Boston Celtics Talk PodcastChris Forsberg and Brian Scalabrine discussed how the team should handle Porzingis’ workload whenever he returns, and which players could see minutes at center against the Pacers in his absence.

“I don’t know what they’re going to do (with Porzingis). Those guys know a lot more than I do. Everybody’s ego aside, I think Porzingis should get back into this with some playing time.” Scalabrino said. “Let him regain his balance, do it slowly, and that will allow Al Horford to rest more.”

If Porzingis can’t play much in this series, who might get playing time at center besides Horford?

Luke Kornet has given the C’s some good minutes at that position all season. Xavier Tillman has played in just three of Boston’s 10 playoff games so far. Maybe he could be in the mix for this series. Tillman made a real difference for the Memphis Grizzlies in their first-round series against the Los Angeles Lakers last season.

One guy Scalabrine and Forsberg believe could see an increase in minutes for the Celtics is former Pacers forward Oshae Brissett.

“This may be crazy, but Brissett could play in this series,” Scalabrine said. “He copes very well with them, so we’ll see.”

Forsberg added: “It’s an interesting theory. I always come back to the motivation factor, he was ready for those games against Indy. I’d have to check the lineup data, but it seems like they found something with him in there, he was almost a center in those alignments.

“It feels like a series where you can get away with being small. It all comes down to whether Joe Mazzulla trusts him. Offensively, his finishing just hasn’t been there, but I agree, I think it’s a lineup you should consider”. At least try in the early stages. “Maybe they should have ruled him out at the end of the last round, but they have options if Porzingis isn’t there to start the series.”

The Pacers don’t have much size. The only player on their roster who gets significant minutes and is listed above 6-foot-9 is Myles Turner. However, the 6-foot-11 power forward is not a dominant low-post scorer and attempts 4.2 three-pointers per game.

The Celtics could definitely get away with playing two undersized power forwards in Tillman and Brissett in this series. The real question is whether these guys can add anything to the Celtics on offense. The Pacers are the highest scoring team in the playoffs and the Celtics will need to match that firepower.

Also in this episode:

  • What does Scal think about the Pacers?

  • The Impact of Aaron Nesmith

  • A look at the odds

You may also like