AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -Chauncey Billups doesn't do interviews before he plays, so when he spoke to reporters, that provided the update of the night.
The All-Star point guard said his right hamstring was not healthy enough to help the Detroit Pistons in Game 5 of their second-round series with the Orlando Magic.
``My improvement from yesterday to today was amazing, but I still haven't been able to sprint full court and that's a concern,'' Billups said Tuesday night. ``I'm getting better, but I'm not quite ready yet.''
Detroit replaced Billups in the starting lineup with rookie Rodney Stuckey and planned to rely on Lindsey Hunter, a veteran with more than a decade of playoff experience. Seldom-used reserve Juan Dixon also provided depth at point guard.
Billups was hurt early in Game 3 and did not play the following game, which Detroit won to take a 3-1 lead in the series.
The Pistons were back at home with a chance to become the first franchise to play in six straight conference finals since the Los Angeles Lakers did it from 1984-89.
``I hope we can end it,'' Billups said. ``It would be great on a number of levels.''
A win Tuesday night would give Detroit a needed break as Boston and Cleveland play out their Eastern Conference semifinal, which is tied 2-all heading into Wednesday night's game on the Celtics' home court.
Billups went through a strenuous workout confined to a 15-foot area on Monday, the day before Game 5, and did some basketball-related drills during the morning shootaround Tuesday.
``In the long run, it's better to be safe than sorry - especially at the time right now,'' he said.
Billups has averaged 17.7 points and 2 1/2 assists for every turnover in 105 playoff games as a Piston since 2003, when their run of conference finals appearances started.

Recent NBA Discussions


Top NBA Public Bets

NBA Top Stories

Thumbnail Hungry Clips open season in Portland Having suffered a disappointing first-round exit in last year’s playoffs, the Clippers spent the offseason tinkering. No established stars left Staples Center, but...
Thumbnail Harden, Houston visit new-look Los Angeles No one’s expecting the Lakers to make major waves as soon as 2016-17. With Luke Walton at the helm, though, the franchise hopes it’s pinpointed the man to turn...
Thumbnail Cleveland ready to rock anew vs. New York The Cavaliers are ready to revel in their first NBA title in 52 years. But will the new-look Knicks spoil the celebration in...
Thumbnail NBA 2016-17 MVP Odds Will Stephen Curry make a run at a third straight NBA MVP honor, or will someone else push him for the crown? Get a...
Thumbnail Lottery pick to begin pro career as reserve The Lakers stumbled to a 17-65 finish in 2015-16. Yet that doesn’t mean they’re willing to just hand over the keys to the No. 2 overall pick in June’s NBA draft.
More inNBA Articles  

NBA Team Pages