August 14, 2023: Will a Big 3 for the Celtics Work Today?

In rather predictable fashion, Celtics fans found themselves dismayed a few days ago due to the latest injury report. Kristaps Porzingis’ status for the 2023 FIBA World Cup is now allegedly in jeopardy, due to a nagging issue involving his foot.

This draws eerily similar parallels to former Celtic Danilo Gallanari’s injury last summer, but that’s not all. Once memories of Kevin Garnett, and later Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving struggling with injuries start to pop up, one specific question is all that is left.

Will a Celtics Big 3 Work In The Modern Day?

One can argue that the Celtics big 3 of 2008 DID work out, seeing that it resulted in the franchise’s most recent championship. However, it can’t be denied that the team did fall considerably short of its potential. 4 All- Star players (including Rajon Rondo) and a solid coach, should have amounted to more than it did. Similar to the Golden State Warriors when Kevin Durant came in tow. Instead, that group maxed out at just one ring. The cause behind this is none other than the same injury bug that has plagued the Celtics since. Garnett famously tore his ACL back in 2009, leading to a second round exit for the C’s. Next season the Celtics made it to the finals, only for another starter (Kendrick Perkins) to tear his ACL again. Thus, Boston lost in 6 games to the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Celtics assembled another big 3 in 2017, pairing Irving and Hayward with Al Horford in hopes of reaching the promised land an 18th time. This didn’t pan out either, with Hayward breaking his leg 30 seconds into the first game of the season. Irving also struggled with injuries throughout his tenure in the Bean as well, and the Celtics never made it past the Conference Finals. Now as Boston makes yet another attempt at a new big 3,

What’s to say that history won’t repeat itself?

Porzingis remains questionable for Latvia’s first bout in the World Cup. Unfortunately though, his prior injury history doesn’t help much in quieting the doubt. The 7”3” center typically only plays about 40–60 games per season, with foot injuries being a frequent occurrence.

As most basketball fanatics know, foot injuries can be a death knell. Specifically for big men.

The list of big men with career derailing injuries is endless. Yao Ming, Arvydas Sabonis, Joakim Noah, and Greg Oden are all famous examples of this, as are numerous others. Even fellow Celtics center Robert Williams III has dealt with numerous lower body related injuries since he was drafted. For a team whose front line is already thin, Porzingis getting injured before the season even starts definitely does not seem promising.

That’s not to say that all is bad, however. Porzingis just posted a video of his workout the other day, and it does indeed raise some optimism that maybe the apparent injury is no big deal after all. Assuming so will at least offer some peace of mind for now.

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