The Knicks had only 10 available players Sunday, but Mike Woodson expects the team to be almost whole and much bigger when the playoffs start.
He said Tyson Chandler (bulging disc in his neck) and Kenyon Martin (sprained left ankle) are "getting better" and "they will be there" when the Knicks open the postseason Saturday against the Celtics. He added that Rasheed Wallace will play "for sure [in] the playoffs," if not sooner.
Wallace, who had left foot surgery in February, has been running the past few days. Woodson didn't rule out using Wallace Monday in Charlotte or Wednesday night against Atlanta.
"He's getting there," Woodson said. "If he checks out OK [Monday], we'll see. And if he doesn't, then we've got another day to prepare for the Atlanta game, and if not, for sure the playoffs."
Chandler and Martin did not travel to Charlotte. At this point, it makes sense for them to sit until the playoffs. Both are physical, defensive-minded players and not shooters, so they don't need to get in any rhythm.
There has been no update on Amar'e Stoudemire (right knee surgery), but he's unlikely to be ready for the first round of the playoffs. Marcus Camby missed his sixth straight game because of plantar fasciitis in his left foot.
Woodson thinks Camby will be back for the playoffs. If Chandler, Martin and Wallace return, though, it's doubtful that Camby would be in the rotation.
Wallace hasn't played since Dec. 13 but has stayed around the team and been a positive influence in the locker room. Woodson talked Wallace out of retirement to join the Knicks and has great trust in him from their time together with the 2004 champion Pistons -- Wallace as a player, Woodson as an assistant coach.
"I think he'll be fine," Woodson said. "You just can't play him big minutes. But I think anything from 10 to 15 minutes, Rasheed being on the floor, would be a positive for our ballclub."
Ray wants rest
Raymond Felton was asked what he hopes for before the playoffs. He said: "I hope I get a lot of rest. That's all I'm going to say. I'm going to leave it at that. I hope I get a lot of rest."
After rookie Chris Copeland played well on both ends of the floor, Woodson was asked if he has a spot in the playoff rotation. "I think so," he said . . . Puzzling tweet from the Atlanta Hawks' official account: "With their win today, the #Knicks clinch the 2 seed in the East. That's really good for them, because they avoid us in the first round.'' . . . The Knicks' 53 victories are their most since they won 57 in 1996-97 . . . Solomon Jones, signed Friday, started at center and had two rebounds and one block in 14 minutes.