Mike Woodson believes Knicks have enough to reach East finals
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The Knicks close out their best regular season in nearly 20 years Wednesday night, and believe one of their best postseasons lies ahead, as long as they get healthy and stay healthy.
"I feel good about the makeup of our ballclub," Mike Woodson said on ESPN Radio Tuesday. "Although we've been beat up and kind of rode this roller coaster this season, we still have enough guys to compete for the Eastern Conference finals. Only time will tell."
The Knicks' health heading into Game 1 of their first-round series against Boston on Saturday is their biggest concern.
Woodson said the Knicks definitely would have injured big men Tyson Chandler and Kenyon Martin back. The Knicks were hoping to have Rasheed Wallace, too. But he left Monday's loss in Charlotte -- his first game in four months -- after playing just 3:50 with a sore left foot.
The Knicks had no update Tuesday, but when Wallace left the arena Monday, he was limping. He was only expected to play short minutes in the postseason, if at all.
It's unclear who will be available Wednesday night against Atlanta when the Knicks, who won their first Atlantic Division title since 1993-94, go for their 54th victory. The Knicks already secured the Eastern Conference's second seed, so they rested Carmelo Anthony, J.R. Smith and Raymond Felton on Monday.
"I think everybody will play," Woodson said. "Then we'll start tuning up, getting ready for the Celtics' series."
But Woodson added that he would listen to Anthony if he wanted another game off. Jason Kidd said he planned to talk to Woodson about resting Wednesday night. Kidd, 40, has sat the final regular-season game throughout his career to get some rest before the playoffs.
The game will be important for the Hawks. They're battling Chicago for the East's fifth seed.
Whoever finishes fifth opens up against the Nets. The winner of that series likely faces the Heat in the conference semifinals. The No. 6 team plays Indiana in the first round and either the Knicks or Celtics in the second round.
The Knicks, who are 0-4 against the Bulls, wouldn't mind avoiding Chicago altogether. So a win Wednesday night would help them. But the Knicks' focus right now is on Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and the Celtics.
"You've got two teams that are playoff tested, that have been through it. It should be a good series," Woodson said. "We just got to protect home [court advantage]. That's what we played for -- to host first round at home. We're able to get second round at home but you got to get through the first round to get to second. We just got to handle our business at home."
Knicks ink Q
Confident they will have most of their big men for the playoffs, the Knicks brought back Quentin Richardson. The 6-6 swingman, who hasn't played in the NBA this season, last played for the Magic in 2012. Richardson averaged 9.7 points in 241 games with the Knicks from 2005-09. "I figure when we get some of our bigs back, we wouldn't have to go big," Woodson said. "He gives us a perimeter guy who can defend a little bit, that can make shots and space the floor like we play. I just think it adds to what we're trying to do."