Zolak & Bertrand

Joe Mazzulla gives positive update on Kristaps Porzingis' calf injury

The Celtics resume their playoff run Tuesday night vs. the Cavs.

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Kristaps Porzingis won't be on the court when the Boston Celtics begin their Eastern Conference semifinals series versus the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night at TD Garden, but it sounds like he's doing everything possible to eventually return to action.

Porzingis suffered a right calf injury during Game 4 of the Celtics' first-round series against the Heat.

There's no definitive timetable for when Porzingis might be ready to play, but the initial updates, including one by head coach Joe Mazzulla on Tuesday, have been positive.

"It's definitely better than we thought," Mazzulla said on 98.5 The Sports Hub show Zolak & Bertrand. "I think one thing about KP is -- I don't know what his timetable is -- but I know his mentality, and he really pushes himself to get back as quickly as he can.

"He does a great job working to take care of himself. He's walking a little bit better, and every day he's in there doing whatever it takes to try to get back as fast as he can. I appreciate that."

How does Mazzulla balance the workload in the frontcourt with Al Horford, Luke Kornet and the other big men with Porzingis not in the lineup?

"I think that's what we've done throughout the year with Al not playing in back-to-backs and limiting his minutes throughout the season. Al does a tremendous job taking care of himself, and he's ready for situations like this. He's ready for the playoffs," Mazzulla said.

"I think one of the best things about a guy like Al is he likes being relied on, and he always answers when we rely on him. We've done a great job managing it throughout the year, and we just have to continue that. Same thing with Luke."

Porzingis had a very good debut campaign with the Celtics. He averaged 20.1 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game. Despite the strong impact he makes on both ends of the floor, the Celtics are still capable of winning games without him. They have a 22-4 record without Porzingis this season, including their series-clinching Game 5 win over the Heat last week.

Horford likely will get the most work in Round 2 replacing what Porzingis brings to the lineup. The 37-year-old veteran averaged eight points and seven rebounds per game while shooting 59.6 percent from the field versus the Heat. His low-post defense also has been very good, and the Celtics will need that to continue against the talented Cavs frontcourt duo of Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen.

Game 1 of Celtics-Cavs at TD Garden is set for 7 p.m. ET with coverage starting at 6 p.m. on NBC Sports Boston's Celtics Pregame Live.

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