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Mike Woodson didn't think Chris Copeland would make the Knicks

Chris Copeland goes to the hoop against the

Chris Copeland goes to the hoop against the Atlanta Hawks' Johan Petro during a game at Madison Square Garden. (April 17, 2013) Credit: Jim McIsaac

Mike Woodson said he didn’t think Chris Copeland would make the Knicks this season and now he’s going to be one of the first players off the bench in their biggest game of the season Saturday night.

It sounds a little like the Jeremy Lin story all over again.

Copeland, a well-traveled 29-year-old rookie, helped the Knicks beat the Pacers in Game and extend the Eastern Conference semifinals to a sixth game with 13 points Thursday night.

“Here was a young man that we didn’t think had a chance to make our ballclub,” Woodson said. “We didn’t think he was physically equipped to play at this level and just knowing the game at this level. It took him a while. He sat and learned patiently. We played him here and there. But each time he’s played he’s been productive on the floor.

"He's had his ups and downs in some games but first time go around guy, he's kind of like Pablo, they just kind of figure things out. It's kind of nice because my staff and I, we've all had a hand in it, and his teammates as well, in getting him to this stage.”

New York Sports