GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Mike Woodson said after Thursday's practice that the three days rest until Game 3 has benefited the older players.
While Tyson Chandler, 30, is not in the age bracket of Jason Kidd, Pablo Prigioni and Kenyon Martin, the center has also taken advantage of the days off to get healthier. Before the playoffs, he was suffering from a small bulging disk in his neck and the flu.
"I thought I was there in the Boston series, but then I realized I'm not in the conditioning that I thought I was," he said. "I feel better, though, every game, and these three days are great for me because it gives me an opportunity to work on my strengths, as well as my timing and conditioning -- everything that you need to be on the basketball court."
In two games this series, Chandler has totaled 12 points, seven rebounds and two blocks, while his matchup, Roy Hibbert, has totaled 20 points, 20 rebounds and nine blocks.
CONFIDENCE "SKY HIGH": That's how Carmelo Anthony described the mood of the team one day from flying to Indianapolis.
"We've got to believe that we can win on the road, and so far we've proven that in the first round in winning in Boston," he said. "But we know it's not going to be easy. We've got to be prepared for that, and we've just got to believe at this point."
NO SECOND CHANCES: In Game 1, the Pacers had 20 second-chance points; the Knicks had only 10. But it was a 180-degree turn in Game 2, as the Knicks had 29 of those points, while the Pacers had only eight.
Woodson said that was "the difference" in the outcome, and it all started with defensive and effort plays.
"I thought we had success guarding everybody. It wasn't just David West," he said. "We took the challenge and got up and overplayed and tried to fight on post-ups. We didn't give up as many second-chance buckets."
"TOTALLY LOST" WITHOUT K-MART: Martin scored in double figures in Games 1 and 2 (12 and 10 points). In the first game, he did it mostly on putbacks -- he had three offensive rebounds -- and on Tuesday night, he made the Pacers pay with the space they gave him to score. On one possession, he blew by Hibbert for a layup.
Addressing Martin's impact, Woodson reflected back to when the big man signed with the Knicks in February. He feels the team wouldn't be at this point without K-Mart.
"He's been a major plus for our team," he said. "We would've been totally lost had we not picked up Kenyon ... because we were beat up at that time with our bigs. When he came in, he patiently saved us and kept us on the right path."
THE PICK-AND-ROLL PULL-UP: It's a midrange shot the Knicks have found available in the series so far, because Hibbert tends to float back to protect the basket.
"He's daring our guards to take that shot, and we've got to make it, because he's laying down in the paint," Chandler said. "We've got to take advantage of that, him just standing under the basket. We've got that free throw line dotted pull-up jump shot all game."
MELO'S SHOULDER UPDATE: He said, "It's alright. At this point, I'm living with it." Melo will continue to wear a black shoulder pad underneath his jersey. "That's my protection at this point," he said.
FELTON'S FINE: Raymond Felton didn't participate in Thursday's practice because of personal reasons. Woodson said it wasn't related to his twisted left ankle in Game 2, and he expects the point guard back in practice on Friday.
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