The 5 most important players heading into the Celtics-Mavericks NBA Finals

Boston vs Dallas. A matchup of superstars and elite talent, but only a few, will have a significant impact on who ends up hoisting the Larry O'Brien trophy
Dallas Mavericks v Boston Celtics
Dallas Mavericks v Boston Celtics / Brian Fluharty/GettyImages
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5. Kristaps Porziņģis- Boston Celtics

When we last saw KP, he had just tweeted that he would be back for the NBA Finals after suffering a calf strain. Well, he has one more week to go, and with Game 1 in Boston, the former Latvian superstar will be tasked with holding down the paint against a Mavericks squad that is extremely physical and much better than any of the three teams that Boston dealt with en route to the NBA Finals.

According to CBS Sports, KP will be ready and for good reason. The move that Boston made to acquire his services was not simply to stack regular season wins or to breeze through the early rounds of the playoffs; it was for this moment. Last time Boston was in the Finals, Robert Williams held his own, but the team was outmatched by the Golden State Warriors, and this Mavericks team has a shooting backcourt eerily similar.

Physical play will be the key if Boston wants any part of getting an 18th championship banner and surpassing the Lakers. The late great Bill Walton is now watching from above. Will the voice of the now defunct Pac-12 have something to whisper for KP in this game? There's only one way to find out, provided KP shakes off any rust