Breaking News: Joe Mazzulla confirms Major Fitness Boost On Key PlayerAhead of the Eastern Conference Finals…

As the Celtics await their Finals opponent, Joe Mazzulla has confirmed that Kristaps Porzingis has not experienced any setbacks in his recovery.

During a media availability on Thursday, Mazzulla commended the Celtics for their mindset throughout the first three rounds of the playoffs and emphasized the importance of using the time off before the Finals effectively.

Speaking to the media for the first time since the Celtics secured their spot in the NBA Finals, Joe Mazzulla covered several topics, most notably the progress of Kristaps Porzingis. Porzingis has been working to return to the lineup after suffering a soleus strain last month.

“He’s gotten better each day, and I know he’s working hard,” Mazzulla said, though he did not provide specifics about Porzingis’s on-court activities. “He’s progressing well and working really hard to get back.”

The Celtics are once again in a waiting game, not yet knowing who their next opponent will be. This is their fourth time monitoring the other side of the postseason bracket — first waiting for the play-in results, then a Game 7 between Orlando and Cleveland, and most recently, a Game 7 between New York and Indiana to see who they’d face in the Eastern Conference Finals.

After sweeping the Pacers, they are now awaiting their Finals opponent. Dallas leads 3-1 against Minnesota and could close the series out tonight. If Dallas wins, the Celtics will have a week to prepare for the Mavericks. If Minnesota wins, Boston will have to wait a few more days.

Regardless of the outcome, Joe Mazzulla stated that the team is focusing inward while scouts prepare for both possible opponents.

“Practice is all about the details and the margins,” Mazzulla said. “Making sure we get better as a team, defensively, offensively, understanding our situational philosophies and execution. These are the things that go into winning, the same things we’ve been doing all year. Regardless of who wins, we’ve got to get better, so we’ll do that tomorrow.”

As they prepare for the Finals, Mazzulla has been pleased with the Celtics’ performance during the playoff run, praising their mindset and approach during the first three rounds.

“We played without an expectation, without a sense of entitlement,” he said. “We just played with the understanding that even though we’re a good team, we have to be the harder-playing team.”

He also acknowledged the role of chance in basketball, noting that all the team can do is put themselves in the best possible position to succeed.

“There are three or four possessions that can completely change the narrative,” he said. “[Aaron] Nesmith hits that corner three [in Game 1], we don’t get a steal, we may not be sitting here.”

As the Finals approach, the bulk of the in-game load will fall on the starters. However, Mazzulla stressed that every player on the roster must stay ready with the player development staff.

“They’ve gotta be ready — you never know,” he said. “We had an injury, we had to go to Oshae [Brissett] and X [Xavier Tillman], who didn’t play much throughout some of the playoffs. Their number one job is to stay ready, to be prepared to go at any point. They could play one possession, five possessions.”

The Celtics had a few days off after winning Game 4 on Monday night but will resume practice tomorrow and Saturday, taking advantage of the extra days after defeating Indiana.

“Nothing is really valuable if you let it go to waste,” Mazzulla said. “Between now and June 6th, we have to take every experience we’ve been through, make sure we take advantage of it, and put ourselves in the best position to win.”

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