Pistons-Celtics Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated April 02, 2013
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.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Steve Kerr does not rule out missing remainder of playoffs

Paul George won't commit to Pacers following sweep

Report: Thunder fan Beverley squabbled with is owner's son

NFL Draft prospect charged with knocking woman out

Report: At least four teams looking to trade out of top 10

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Bill Parcells on Tony Romo: ‘I was glad he retired’

Report: Garoppolo remains 'long shot' to be traded

Report: Packers coaches upset with GM Ted Thompson

Rondo fined $25K for attempting to trip Crowder

Logan Morrison curses out umpire CB Bucknor mid at-bat

Raptors jab Bucks on Twitter after Game 4 victory

The 'It's not good to play the King' quiz

Best of Yardbarker: David Fizdale and the Grizzlies won't go down quietly

Three Up, Three Down: Home run hitters are heating up

The 'Even the Browns can't mess this one up' quiz

25 times Mother Nature disrupted sports

In some ways, Dan Rooney was just another NFL owner

Box Score 4/20: When Westbrook isn't enough

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The '♫Happy Birthday Simpsons. Simpsons, it's your birthday♫' quiz

White House championship visits over the years

Biggest needs in the draft for every NFL team

The 'Baseball has been very, very good to its players' quiz

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 'It's not good to play the King' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Home run hitters are heating up

The 'Even the Browns can't mess this one up' quiz

In some ways, Dan Rooney was just another NFL owner

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The '♫Happy Birthday Simpsons. Simpsons, it's your birthday♫' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: David Fizdale calls B.S.

Kris Bryant can become the next Derek Jeter — and more

The 'Baseball has been very, very good to its players' quiz

NHL youth movement: How the 2016-17 rookie class fared

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker