Mike Woodson angry with Knicks for wearing black before Game 5
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GREENBURGH, N.Y. - Mike Woodson doesn't want the Knicks back in black Friday night or the Celtics back in New York for a deciding Game 7 Sunday.
Woodson said he was unaware that the players wore black to Game 5 on Wednesday as if they were preparing for a mock funeral for the Celtics. Woodson said he "absolutely" would have stopped it and let the Knicks know he was unhappy before they flew to Boston, where Friday night they will take a third crack at clinching a playoff series for the first time in 13 years.
"I'm a little upset about that and I addressed that," Woodson said Thursday afternoon. "A lot of these guys have been in the league, but when it comes to this team, this team hasn't been assembled that long for playoffs. Things like that have just got to be kept outside the game, man, and just concentrate on playing basketball."
The sign of unity backfired because the Knicks didn't show that same togetherness and cohesiveness on the court and lost, 92-86, at the Garden to trim their advantage in the first-round series to 3-2. But Woodson could have bigger things to worry about than what his players wear to Game 6 in what should be a raucous TD Garden.
Woodson said Carmelo Anthony spent time Thursday getting treatment on his left shoulder, which he injured in the fourth quarter of Game 5.
Anthony was trying to move over to defend a drive and Kevin Garnett pulled his arm. Anthony grimaced as he let his left arm hang. He finished the game, but Anthony already had been struggling with his shot with two healthy arms and shoulders. He's 18-for-59 in the last two games and now could be sore for this critical game.
"I hope not," Woodson said. "That's why he's in there getting treatment. Melo's a tough kid. He'll be back."
The Knicks can't afford more poor shooting nights from Anthony. They led the series 3-0 but have dropped the last two games because their offense has been stagnant and the ball hasn't moved the way it did in the first three games. The Knicks shot 36.8 percent in Games 4 and 5.
If Anthony and J.R. Smith, who started 0-for-10 before finishing 3-for-14 in Game 5, don't find the touch and the Knicks' offense sputters again, they will be in danger of making history.
"We're focused," Tyson Chandler said. "We've shown that we can win in Boston. We've shown that we can beat them. The only thing we have to do is get one win. We go down to Boston, focus and finish the job."
Focus will be important because of the Boston crowd and what happened after Game 5, when Celtics reserve guard Jordan Crawford said something to Anthony. Crawford and Raymond Felton had to be separated.
Crawford reportedly made a remark about Anthony's wife, LaLa. In January, Garnett and Anthony tangled after Garnett reportedly said something about Anthony's wife. Anthony wasn't available for comment Thursday.
"If [Crawford] did say any of those things, then he definitely crossed the line," Chandler said.
Woodson also addressed that with his players.
"That should be left outside the game," he said. "We've just got to let things like that go and just play."
Notes & quotes: Chandler received treatment on his neck and said he feels great . . . Woodson said Steve Novak (back spasms) is doubtful for Game 6.