- Marc Stein, Senior Writer, ESPN.com
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After securing the top seed in the Eastern Conference without Ben Wallace, the Detroit Pistons expect to have their rebounding machine back for Game 1 of the playoffs this weekend against Milwaukee or Orlando.
Wallace has missed the past five games with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee, which was injured in a home loss to San Antonio on April 6 when teammate Tayshaun Prince fell into his knee. The Pistons, though, recovered from a 17-point rout at Philadelphia in the first game without the All-Star to win three of four and render Wednesday's season finale at Boston meaningless.
"Ben will be ready for Game 1," Pistons president Joe Dumars told ESPN.com.
The Pistons, sparked largely by Wallace's energy, are the only team in the league holding opponents under 90 points per game and will learn the identity of their first-round opponent Wednesday night, when Orlando visits Milwaukee. The team that wins will finish seventh in the East, with the loser opening the playoffs at Detroit in a best-of-7 series.
Joe Dumars says injured center Ben Wallace will be ready to play in the Pistons' playoff opener.