Kristaps Porzingis and the Boston Celtics opened up their season with a narrow road win in Madison Square Garden over the New York Knicks. The game marked the Latvian big man’s Celtics debut as he was acquired from the Washington Wizards this summer, and Porzingis was more than impressive in the victory, scoring 30 points and knocking down a clutch three-pointer to give Boston a late lead.
After the game, Celtics’ guard Jaylen Brown spoke on the added dimension that Porzingis gives to an already-loaded Boston roster.
“I think KP is the ultimate spacer, right, and if teams are going to keep guarding him like that, we’re going to keep encouraging him to shoot the ball,” said Brown, per Jared Weiss of The Athletic. “When (teams switch their coverages), people like me will be ready to take advantage of those matchups.”
Porzingis joins a Celtics roster that includes the likes of Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Derrick White, and also newly-acquired All-Star guard Jrue Holiday, who the Celtics picked up this summer in a trade with the Portland Trail Blazers.
At 7’3″, there isn’t a defender on Planet Earth who can defend Porzingis’ jump shot, which will add a new dimension to what was already a very diverse Celtics offensive attack. Boston’s Achilles heel from last year’s playoffs, their late-game execution, was not a problem in the victory over New York, thanks in large part to Porzingis’ heroics.
While the Celtics certainly won’t have a cakewalk to the championship, with Porzingis in the fray, it’s safe to say they have as good a chance as anyone else.