• Avery Bradley is on track to rejoin the Celtics lineup Friday against the Suns, as he continues to recover from a recurring right ankle injury that has sidelined for 16 of Boston’s last 19 games. “I ended up coming back too early,” Bradley acknowledged of his first return from the ankle injury back in February, “and kind of made it worse. That’s all it is. We’re just nursing it and taking our time so it doesn’t happen again. Because you know when you have one ankle sprain, you’re more likely to have another one right after.”
  • Chris Babb’s 10-day contract with the Celtics is set to expire at midnight, but head coach Brad Stevens is hopeful that his team signs the swingman to another contract this week. “I hope like heck he’s back with us Monday,” Stevens said. “He’s a perfect fit for what we need. He’s not going to play 38 minutes a game, he’s going to come in, get open shots, hopefully knock those open shots down, play off other people, and be a feisty defender for us. He really is an outstanding defender for a young guy.”
  • The Pistons have dropped nine of their last 11 games, including two in a row last week. Josh Smith has particularly struggled during that span, shooting a meager 39.3 percent from the field and 22.7 percent from downtown over his past 10 games. Despite the tough stretch, Detroit remains just three games out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
  • Boston has lost both head-to-head matchups with the Pistons this year, largely due to the Pistons’ major size edge on the front line.  “They are huge,” Stevens explained. “And they’ve given us problems because of that. Smith, Greg Monroe and [Andre] Drummond are as big of a frontline as there is. And we’ve struggled with it, to be honest, we’ve struggled with it.”

– Brian Robb

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