Monday, April 22, 2013
Prigioni probable for Tuesday's Game 2
By Jared Zwerling
GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Knicks coach Mike Woodson and Iman Shumpert said point guard Pablo Prigioni, who has been nursing a sprained right ankle, "looked good" during Monday's practice.
How the Argentine feels on Tuesday will be key to his return. He is listed as probable, the Knicks said.
"If he can go tomorrow, we'll start him, absolutely," Woodson said.
Shumpert added, "It didn't look like he had too much pain."
The Knicks expect the action against the Celtics to intensify in Game 2, so Prigioni's defense on Avery Bradley will be crucial. Woodson called the Celtics "a tough, battle-tested team," and Kenyon Martin said they will "scratch, claw and fight in order to get the game."
On Saturday, Bradley wasn't contested enough, and several times he found wide-open lanes to score. He finished with 15 points on 7-for-14 shooting. Prigioni can give Bradley a taste of his own medicine by applying full-court pressure, trying to rattle Bradley while he sets up the offense.
"We want to pressure them early," Shumpert said. "That's something that Pablo loves to do, so having him back will be great. Make sure we run the shot clock down on them and force them to take tough shots, and when they take tough shots and we get rebounds, we've got to run."
Offensively, Prigioni has found a rhythm playing alongside the other starters, and he knows where they like the ball. He also sees the extra pass if he's playing off the ball, and he's a dangerous 3-point shooter when left open.
CHANDLER'S CONDITIONING IMPROVING: Two days after playing only 20 minutes because of conditioning issues -- grabbing only five rebounds and not scoring -- Tyson Chandler said he's "feeling better every day."
"The more I'm on the floor, the better I'm going to get, better-conditioned. My rhythm, my legs," said Chandler, who missed 16 of the Knicks' final 20 games of the regular season. "I feel like I'll be better in Game 2 than I was Game 1, and it will continue throughout the series."
Regarding Chandler's neck, where he recently had a bulging disk, the center said it still feels "a little sore," but overall it's a nonissue. His biggest thing is building his stamina.
"I'm trying to condition myself playing against the best of the best," he said. "It's just getting my timing back, getting my legs under me, and getting back into the flow of the game."
In the first quarter Saturday, Chandler set strong screens for Carmelo Anthony and Raymond Felton to free them for jump shots. But Chandler wasn't as active on the boards or contesting shots. He had no blocks.
With Boston coach Doc Rivers preparing to give Kevin Garnett more touches in Game 2, Chandler says he is ready.
"We just have to do a good job defending [Garnett] down in the paint, as well as making sure he doesn't get any open jump shots," Chandler said.