The Knicks continue to say they’re not counting the Celtics out despite their unimpressive 16-17 record heading into tonight.
It’s not just that the Knicks aren’t trying to wake up the potentially sleeping giant by saying Boston’s time has passed.
They know Doc Rivers’ Celtics have many players who are battled tested and know how to win – something the Knicks have acquired the past two offseasons.
“They’ve had injuries,” Mike Woodson said. “But let me tell you something, Doc’s teams are always well coached and they’re going to play hard every night. They might not be having the season that they expected. But to me they’re still one of the premier teams in the East. That’s what we’re dealing with tonight.”
The Knicks go for their third straight win against the Celtics, and would open up an eight-game lead on them in the Atlantic Division with a win.
Boston has claimed the division title the last five years. The Knicks said from the start of camp that winning the Atlantic was the first goal.
“The first goal has to be to win the division this way we secure home court [advantage] in the first round,” Tyson Chandler said. “That would be a big plus for us.”
The Knicks will start the same tonight as the last two games with Jason Kidd, Ronnie Brewer, Chandler, Carmelo Anthony and Marcus Camby.
Rasheed Wallace is out again with the acute stress reaction in his left foot.
Woodson said he had no update on Iman Shumpert and when he was going to have his surgically repaired left knee tested. Shumpert said he was hoping to get clearance to go 5-on-5 this week.