Posted April 02, 2013 on
AP on Fox
The Boston Celtics are limping toward the playoffs, and they're fully aware improvement is necessary to have any success in the postseason.
Their recent performances versus the Detroit Pistons shouldn't be used as an example.
Boston has a chance to clinch a playoff berth and will have Paul Pierce back in the lineup as it looks to avoid a fifth consecutive loss to visiting Detroit on Wednesday night.
Though season-ending injuries to Rajon Rondo (torn ACL) and Jared Sullinger (back surgery), along with the currently inflamed ankle of Kevin Garnett haven't made things easy, the Celtics (38-36) are clinging to the Eastern Conference's seventh seed, 1 1/2 games ahead of Milwaukee.
While Boston can clinch a postseason berth with a win and a Philadelphia loss to Charlotte on Wednesday, it has dropped seven of nine after falling 110-100 at Minnesota on Monday.
Avery Bradley scored a team-high 19 points and said the Celtics still have a sense of urgency despite their recently disappointing results.
"We want to improve as a team every single game," Bradley said. "Paul (Pierce) and those guys let us know before every single game. When we are in the huddle, he lets us know that we need to keep taking steps forward to prepare for the playoffs."
Pierce wasn't there Monday, sitting out due to unspecified personal reasons. Coach Doc Rivers said Pierce definitely will play against the Pistons, though.
Jason Terry, who scored 14 points off the bench, was pretty vocal in Pierce's absence and said Boston is focused on going into the postseason on a high note.
"We will have plenty of time to game plan and practice. We will get there," Terry said. "There is nothing I haven't seen so I prepare for the best. The main thing is being optimistic and sticking together."
The Celtics, though, haven't been very good versus the Pistons lately, dropping the last four meetings by an average of 15.0 points. Detroit won the first two matchups this season at home, 103-83 on Nov. 18 and 103-88 on Jan. 20.
Greg Monroe combined for 35 points and 24 rebounds in those contests for the Pistons (25-50), who are winding down an otherwise disappointing campaign.
Detroit averaged just 89.4 points while dropping 13 of 14 in March before earning a 108-98 victory at Toronto on Monday, as Monroe finished with 24 points.
The Pistons shot 55.8 percent, second best only to the 58.1 percent they shot in a win over Miami on Dec. 28.
''We did a good job if withstanding their runs and responding with our own,'' Monroe said. ''Guys showed a lot of fight.''
Jose Calderon, who finished with 19 points and nine assists against his former team, said Detroit can be a dangerous team when everyone is clicking.
"When we have chemistry, when we are playing as a team, we have a lot of guys who can score the ball," Calderon said. "We were running the same play the last five or six minutes and everybody, different guys were getting shots. It was great, it was nice to see."
Detroit has allowed an average of 105.4 points over its last 11 games, though it has held Boston to 85.0 per game over the last four meetings.
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It turns out Paul Pierce had a good reason to miss Monday night's game; Paul and his wife were welcoming their new son Prince Paul Pierce into this world. The team traveled to Minnesota without him because she was close to giving birth he didn’t want to leave her. The couple’s first son was born at 8:21 PM on Tuesday. Pierce on WEEI after the game had this to say:
The already battered Celtics could be without their captain against Minnesota Monday night.
According to ESPN's Chris Forsberg, Paul Pierce turned his ankle in the first quarter which forced him to sit out the final 13 minutes of the Celtics' 108-89 loss to the Knicks Sunday. Pierce was seen on the bench with an ice pack taped to his right ankle. From Forsberg's piece...
No KG or Pierce at Celtics shootaround this morning. Pierce remains game-time decision vs. DET, according to the team.55 minutes ago via EchofonReplyRetweetFavorite@ESPNForsbergChris ForsbergStrangely enough, I think the Celtics will pull this win out, regardless of Pierce’s playing status. Boston has lost seven of its last nine games and is 0-2 against the pesky Pistons (not...
If you were watching Sunday night's contest in New York, you may have noticed Paul Pierce icing his ankle late in the fourth quarter. The Truth had suffered a sprain to that ankle earlier in the game and as a result he missed Monday night's match-up at Minnesota. But was it really all just because of a bum ankle? Celtics insider, A. Sherrod Blakely, had originally reported...
Last night Paul Pierce missed just his second game in what has been a remarkable 15th pro season. The Celtics fell to 0-2 without him, losing to two inept basketball teams (Charlotte and Minnesota) by a combined 38 points in those games.
Pierce tweaked his ankle in the Celtics blowout loss to the Knicks on Sunday night, but Celtics coach Doc Rivers said that Pierce sat out for...
When players miss games for ambiguous “personal reasons,” fans are left to wonder just how important those reasons were. In Paul Pierce‘s case, they were important personally — but also for the team, if Pierce’s prediction turns out to be true.
The Celtics linchpin skipped Monday night’s game because his first son was being born. He announced the news to WEEI on Wednesday...
Knicks 108, Celtics 89
For the second time this week, the Celtics (38-35) were unable to compete with a team that now owns the longest streak in the NBA. The Knicks (46-26) won their eighth straight on Sunday night as they steamrolled through a porous C’s defense. Boston played well enough on the offensive end, but Without Kevin Garnett in the lineup, they were simply unable to...
More postgame interviews as they become available. On a side note, congrats to Paul Pierce and his wife on their newborn son Prince Pierce.
Video courtesy of Mike Petraglia.
First off, it was great to hear that the whole team, Rajon Rondo, Sully, and KG included were on the court today as the Celtics honored members of the military. The photo above shows members of the Air Force presenting a flag that was flown in the Middle East to Doc and the team.
Second, Paul Pierce didn't practice today, but it wasn't related to the personal reasons that...
Tip: 7:30PM Court: TD Garden Watch it: CSNNE Hear it: WEEI
Referees: Mark Davis, Kane Fitzgerald and Brent Barnaky
Spread: BOS -7.0
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At home: 25-11
On road: 10-27
Streak: Lost 2
BOSTON — The doubts are raised after every disappointing shooting night. In some cases, they pop up even more suddenly, such as any offensive possession that passes without a replay-worthy dunk. Jeff Green exists in only two versions in the eyes of some observers: the game-dominating freak of nature or the milquetoast waste of four years and $36 million weighing down a Celtics...
The Celtics returned home to take on the Detroit Pistons Wednesday night at the TD Garden. With a win tonight and a 76er loss on the road the Celtics would clinch a playoff spot. The team did just that but they sure don't make things easy on themselves. Led by a huge night from Jeff Green, who finished with 34 points, the Celtics snuck by Detroit 98-93.
The Pistons really...
Melo and the Knicks punished Boston from 3-point range.Few things are as aggravating as hearing an opposing crowd chant “Bos-ton sucks,” but one thing that’s worse is knowing that they aren’t wrong. The Celtics, for lack of a better descriptor, sucked tonight. Aside from Jeff Green (and Chris Wilcox on two field goal attempts), no one shot above 50% from the field. The Celtics...
Jeff Green has made quite a name for himself while helping fill in for the injured Kevin Garnett.
He may need to step up even more with Paul Pierce banged up, too.
Green looks to build on another terrific effort as the playoff-bound Boston Celtics host the Cleveland Cavaliers, who try to avoid an 11th consecutive loss Friday night.
Green, who burst onto the scene with a career...