The Knicks are preparing for their third straight trip to the NBA playoffs, and health will be a factor in how far they get in this year's postseason. NY1's Kevin Garrity filed the following report.
The Knicks tried to reach the playoffs as healthy as possible, but an ankle injury to starting guard Pablo Prigioni in the final regular season game leaves head coach Mike Woodson with decisions to make. But as Woodson always preaches, it's never about one guy, especially at playoff time.
"Guys, we're a team," Woodson said. "It doesn't matter who starts in those spots. You just have to play hard and defend those spots, and if Raymond [Felton] is the solo point guard starting now, he has to defend that spot."
"It's the playoffs. We have to go out and we have to perform," Felton said. "But we're definitely going to miss Pablo, and hopefully we get him back the second game, or maybe even the first. Hopefully a miracle happens and he heals up."
There is good news on the injury front. Keynon Martin and his injured ankle, and Tyson Chandler, who's been dealing with a neck issue, will both be ready for Saturday's Game 1 against Boston.
"Good to be out there with the fellas moving up and down the floor and knowing that, you know, playoffs, and I'm feeling great. It's good right now," Chandler said.
For the Knicks, the 54-win season and division title were all well and good. But now, it's the playoffs, and for the NBA's leading scorer, now is the time to bring it all together.
"Right now, the playoffs, it's all about intensity, X's and O's, valuing each possession. Each possession counts. Going out there, high energy, every game, every night, just putting it all out there on the basketball court. We can't think about anything else but one game at a time."
The Knicks lost to the Celtics two years ago in the first round. Last year, they were knocked out by the heat in five games. But this spring, being the number 2 seed in the East, anything less than a trip to the conference finals will be deemed a failure for this organization.