Kristaps Porzingis will not be on the court for the Boston Celtics in Game 3 of the 2024 NBA Finals, and there are significant concerns he may miss the rest of the series. The Celtics announced his absence shortly before the 8:30 p.m. ET tip-off due to a “rare” left leg injury incurred during Game 2. Initially, Porzingis was listed as questionable with a left posterior tibialis dislocation.

Head coach Joe Mazzulla described Porzingis’ condition as a “day-to-day thing,” but ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski offered a more somber assessment on NBA Countdown, indicating there’s “real doubt” about Porzingis’ return for the series. Despite Porzingis’ own optimistic claim to NBA TV’s Jared Greenberg that he will return, the final decision rests with the Celtics’ medical team.

Porzingis’ injury is a severe setback for Boston’s frontcourt. Al Horford is expected to take on increased minutes at center, with support from Luke Kornet and Xavier Tillman off the bench. In the first two games of the Finals, Porzingis played a pivotal role, averaging 16.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks in 21.9 minutes per game, helping the Celtics to secure a 2-0 series lead.

The absence of Porzingis could heavily influence the Celtics’ strategy and performance as they aim to capture the championship.