Pierce sat out two games with sprained ankle

Updated: April 15, 2004, 9:42 PM ET
Associated Press

BOSTON -- The Boston Celtics put 37-year-old guard Dana Barros on their playoff roster Thursday after he sat out all last season and played one game this season.

That game was Wednesday night's 137-132 win over the Atlanta Hawks in the regular-season finale. Barros, who became an assistant coach on Feb. 4, scored six points in 11 minutes.

Boston (36-46) opens the best-of-seven series Saturday against Indiana, which has the NBA's best record, 61-21.

Paul Pierce, who sat out the last two games to rest a sprained ankle, also was put on the roster, as expected.

After Wednesday's game, Barros said it didn't matter whether he was activated for the playoffs. The players who were on the team all season deserve a spot, he said.

"I'll do whatever they need," he said. "I'm not sure what I've got, but they can have what I've got."

Barros, a 13-year veteran, hadn't played in the NBA since 2001-2002 with Detroit. One reason he was hired as an assistant was to help another point guard, rookie Marcus Banks.

Banks scored a career-high 28 points Wednesday night.

"I used to watch Dana when I was a little boy," Banks said. "It's good to see a guy at his age get out there (who) can run up and down every day with us young guys."

Barros was put on the roster instead of rookie forward Kendrick Perkins, who spent most of the season with the Celtics, but rarely played. Boston still has Mark Blount, Chris Mihm and Michael Stewart to play that position.

Blount knows the Celtics face a difficult challenge against the Pacers.

"Their coach, Rick Carlisle, has done a great job with those guys, not only the starters," Blount said. "He's got those guys coming off the bench understanding their role."

He also said the Celtics must play much better defense than they did Wednesday night.

"I'm going to try to talk to some of these guys and let them know the playoffs are different," Blount said. "It's night and day. Everybody knows each other's plays."

The Celtics made the playoffs despite a season of upheaval in which coach Jim O'Brien resigned. They traded Antoine Walker before the season started, then made major deals with Cleveland and Detroit. Guards Ricky Davis and Chucky Atkins, obtained in those trades, have helped.

But Indiana should be a big favorite.

"We're going to see a well-oiled machine that, if you don't come with your 'A' game, will make you look silly," Boston coach John Carroll said.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press