BOSTON (Sporting Alert) — Mike Woodson has warned his New York Knicks players to only “concentrate on playing basketball” and forget about their closets ahead of the vital Game 6 clash with the Boston Celtics on Friday night.
Date: Friday, May 3, 2013
Game Time: 7 p.m. ET
Where: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
TV: ESPN, MSG (New York), Comcast SportsNet New England (Boston)
Live Stream: WatchESPN.com Also Live on ESPN3.com (BLACKED OUT ON ESPN3 – VIEW MAP)
It is being widely reported that Knicks centers Kenyon Martin and former Dallas Mavericks player Tyson Chandler told teammates to wear black clothes to Game 5 as a sign of going to a “funeral” with the action anticipating that the Knicks would have eliminated the Celtics from the playoffs.
“It’s nothing against the Celtics,” said Chandler, a member of the Mavericks’ 2011 NBA title winning team.
“It’s something we were doing as a team.
“It wasn’t meant to offend anybody or anything like that. It was meant to motivate guys in the locker room.”
However, after seeing his team failing to play good basketball and losing in Boston, Woodson said he was “upset” about his team’s premature decision to mimic a funeral for the hosts.
“I’m a little upset about that, and I’ve addressed that,” Woodson said.
“Things like that have just got to be, just kept outside the game and just concentrate on playing basketball.”
Several coach, TV pundits and analysts criticized the New York team for their childish behaviour and Woodson, who admitted to not knowing about this before Thursday, said he wouldn’t have allowed it to take place.
“I made reference to our guys, you need to stay out of the papers and just concentrate on playing,” the coach said.
“That’s not important. What you’re wearing doesn’t have anything to do with how you play on the basketball floor.
“I’ve addressed that with our players, and that’s enough. The game is played on the floor, and that’s where it should be played.”
Meanwhile, New York point guard Raymond Felton admits that he too would have told the team to quit the nonsense had he known wearing black was targeting a funeral statement to Boston.
“If I would have known that it was all of that, I would have said let’s not do that, let’s just come like normal and let’s just play basketball,” Felton told “The Michael Kay Show” on ESPN New York 98.7 FM Thursday night.
“We shouldn’t have done it, it’s over with. Now it’s time to go play basketball.”
The Knicks lead the series 3-2 and can finish off the series Friday night at TD Garden.
At the same time, Boston will be hoping to continue making the impressive comeback and tie up the series 3-3 with a win after going 3-0 down in the series.
A win for the Celtics would also signal further embarrassments on the Knicks, who after the first three games, felt the series was already done and dusted.
All-Star center Kevin Garnett, who has grabbed 52 rebounds in the last three games, says despite the two game win, the Celtics have nothing to get comfortable about, especially knowing that another defeat would end their season.
“Next game we lose, this is it,” the veteran said. “So I don’t know what everybody is talking about getting comfortable or feeling good.
“It’s not like we evened it up and we’re going back home. We’re down 3-2. So I don’t know what being comfortable is about.”