CELTICS AT KNICKS, 8 P.M. ET

TV: TNT

  • The Knicks will get Pablo Prigioni back from a right ankle sprain after he missed Game 1. He will start alongside Raymond Felton, Iman Shumpert, Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler. Amar’e Stoudemire and Earl Barron are inactive. “[Prigioni] gives us a guy that can help run our team and can give us a defensive presence out front guarding the ball,” Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. Asked if there was any minutes-limit on the 35-year-old point guard, Woodson said, “I think he’s gonna be fine.” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said of Prigioni: “It just gives them another decision-maker, he’s brilliant. He’s another Jason Kidd-ish type guy and so, it gives them another smart player on the floor, and another guy that can create plays. That makes them really good. It’s no coincidence that when he’s in the lineup, they’ve played better.”
  • Stoudemire, who has been out with a right knee debridement, told reporters he hopes to play in the second round. “If everything goes great, I’m ready to play,” he said.
  • The 6-foot Felton will guard the 6-7 Paul Pierce. “Well be fine, Raymond’s OK,” Woodson said. “He’s guarded guys like Pierce all season.”
  • After going scoreless in 20 minutes in Game 1, Chandler said he’s feeling less rusty and his stamina is coming along entering Game 2. “It’s going to be a little stiff, a little score in there,” he said Monday. “But I felt great.” He added: “It’s just getting my timing back, getting my legs under me, getting back into the flow of the game.” Woodson said: “Tyson’s timing I thought was a little off and his conditioning was off also. He’s worked the last few days so I’m expecting him to be a lot better tonight.”
  • The Celtics will start Pierce, Avery Bradley, Jeff Green, Brandon Bass and Kevin Garnett. The Celtics plan to get Garnett more touches after he went 4-for-12 for eight points in Game 1. “We’ve got to play through Kevin a lot more,” Pierce told the Boston Herald. “He’s one of our best passers. I mean he’s one of the most unselfish players, so we have to do a better job of getting him the ball, a lot more than he got it yesterday.” He added: “Doc said he wants Kevin to be aggressive, he wants him to take 20 shots, but even when we run plays for Kevin, he’s so responsible that he’s going to find the open man and be responsible with the ball. He usually ends up getting four or five assists. So we have to do a better job of involving him because he’s good at doing a lot of playmaking duties.”
  • Knicks guard J.R. Smith was named the NBA Sixth Man of the Year on Monday. “I’ve been known as such a selfish player for so long I just wanted to show everybody that I can be a team guy and it’s all about team,” Smith said Monday.
  • The Knicks have now won 17 of their last 19, while the Celtics have lost 12 of 18.
  • Isiah Thomas picked Woodson as NBA Coach of the Year. “That’s good but again I’m not in this for Coach of the Year,” Woodson said. “I’m in this to try to get this team to the championship round and try to win a title.”
  • If the Knicks go up 2-0, they will head to Boston feeling good about themselves. “It just meants we protected out homecourt,” Woodson said. “That’s what we played for all season, to get homecourt advantage. You gotta defend your court and then you head off to Boston, so tonight is a very important game for us in this series.”

– Adam Zagoria

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