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Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Bigger lineup backfires

By Ian Begley

Amare Stoudemire
Mike Woodson's decision to play a bigger lineup didn't pay off in Game 4.
INDIANAPOLIS -- In an attempt to neutralize the Pacers' size advantage, Mike Woodson went with a bigger starting five for Game 4.

He inserted Kenyon Martin into the starting lineup and took out Pablo Prigioni.

The bigger front line didn't produce the desired results.

The Knicks were outrebounded 54-36. Indiana had 16 offensive rebounds and 19 second-chance points. The Pacers outscored the Knicks 36-26 in the paint.

"Rebounding-wise we got hammered on the boards again," Woodson said after the Knicks' Game 4 loss. "I thought that’s what hurt us where we would make a slight run. They’d get a second-chance opportunity and they capitalized on it."

Martin finished with five rebounds in 28 minutes, none on the offensive end.

The Knicks' wings, J.R. Smith in particular, failed to box out Indiana forward Paul George, who finished with 14 rebounds. Guard Lance Stephenson had seven rebounds and George Hill had three.

"We need to do a better job as a unit," Martin said. "It can't be just one or two guys."

WHERE'S PABLO? Woodson not only kicked Prigioni out of the starting lineup but also removed him from the game plan.

Prigioni played just 3:26 on Tuesday.

Woodson went with Jason Kidd to back up Raymond Felton.

Kidd finished 0-for-2 in 16 minutes and missed a fast-break layup. He is scoreless in the past eight games and has missed his previous 14 shots.

Asked about Prigioni's playing time, Woodson said, "I'm not going to sit and explain it. Right now at this point, I'm reaching, trying to find combinations that will work."

Woodson has also gone away from Chris Copeland in the playoffs. Copeland hit two 3s in 12 minutes on the floor (all in the second half).

Woodson pulled Copeland, though, less than 30 seconds after he hit his first 3.

SHUMP SAYS KNEE WAS "FINE": After playing 16 minutes in Game 4 on a left knee that was less than 100 percent healthy, Iman Shumpert said he was "fine" and his limited playing time had nothing to do with his knee injury.

Knicks doctors examined Shumpert's knee before the game because he felt stiffness and soreness in the knee after falling twice in Game 3. Any pain in Shumpert's right knee is a cause for concern because he tore his right ACL in the playoffs last season and underwent season-ending surgery to repair the injury.

"It's fine," he said. "I have no complaints."

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