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Report: Celtics optimistic that Kristaps Porzingis could play in In-Season Tournament semifinals

BOSTON -- The Celtics will be without Kristaps Porzingis on Monday night in the quarterfinals of the In-Season Tournament. If they're able to win and advance, they may get a huge boost for the semis.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Monday that there's "optimism" that Porzingis could return to the Celtics' lineup this week, which would allow him to play in the semifinals on Thursday if the Celtics win on Monday.

Porzingis got off to a strong start with the Celtics this year, averaging 18.9 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.7 blocks per game in his 15 games this season. But he suffered a calf strain in a loss in Orlando in late November, forcing him to miss the last three Celtics games. The Celtics have won all three games during his absence.

Porzingis told reporters after suffering the injury that it wasn't deemed serious and that the medical staff was treating him cautiously.

The Celtics will play the Pacers on Monday night in Indianapolis. If they win, they'll head to Vegas to play the winner of Tuesday night's game between the Knicks and Bucks on Thursday night. The winner of that game will head to the Finals to face a team from the Western Conference on Saturday night, with the NBA Cup on the line.

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