Billups says hamstring feels better, but he's still game-time decision

Updated: May 10, 2008, 11:30 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

The Detroit Pistons are aggressively treating Chauncey Billups' strained hamstring with the hope he can return for Game 4 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Orlando Magic on Saturday.

But Billups is a game-time decision, and it's not hard to guess whom the Magic would rather face -- Billups, with more than 100 playoff games under his belt, or Pistons rookie Rodney Stuckey.

On Friday, Billups said Friday he was feeling a little better, but still couldn't manage a fast walk. The Pistons, who lead the series 2-1, planned to try a little running and a stronger workout Saturday before the 5 p.m. game in Orlando.

"I don't have to be 100 percent. This whole postseason I haven't been 100 percent but one or two games anyway," Billups said. "I just want to be good enough to be productive. I don't care if I even score, but I just think if I'm out there running the show and I'm taking control of the game, that's me being productive."

"I am feeling a little better today, but it's still tough to say," Billups told the Detroit News. "It's a soft-tissue injury and it's tough. It's very restrictive. Even when I just try to walk fast, it's restrictive. I have to be careful."

The Pistons' strength and conditioning coach, Arnie Kander, has been with Billups continuously from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. the past two days. Kander said Friday he was encouraged by the progress and that the goal of playing Saturday was still in sight.

"Any time you feel better in the first 24 or 36 hours, that's your worst time," Kander said in the Detroit Free Press. "That's where all the chemical reactions occur for muscle strains. And early morning. As you know, all of our bodies don't feel great first thing in the morning."

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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