The Knicks’ thrilling win in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals was a small step in getting back in the series.
If they are to take advantage of any momentum, they’ll need to go to Miami tomorrow and find a way to extend the series. Otherwise, Sunday’s win was just prolonging the inevitable.
“It was a big game for our franchise, our fans and the younger guys because they had no idea what playoff basketball was about. It was huge for us moving forward, but it was just one game,” said interim head coach Mike Woodson. “I always look at the big picture and that was to come home and win two games, but we slipped up and only got one. Now we have to get one down there and get Game 5 back here and put the pressure on them.”
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The Knicks will go into Game 5 undermanned. They still don’t know exactly who will play the most minutes at point guard. Mike Bibby will likely get the start.
“Bibby’s had a helluva career in our league,” Woodson said. “He’s not what he used to be, but he’s still capable in short minutes to run a team.”
One guy it probably won’t be is Jeremy Lin. Lin hasn’t played since March 24 with a knee injury.
“I’ve been watching him on the side and he’s not in great shape,” Woodson said. “You know in playoff basketball you have to be at an all-time high [conditioning] and he’s not there yet.”
» Woodson said if or when Miami goes big, he’d be more inclined to play Carmelo Anthony or J.R. Smith at the lead guard position.
“I’ve gone a couple of games where we had a big lineup. There’s a possibility for us to go big when they do. I thought about doing it some [Sunday] but then Bibby hit that big shot,” Woodson said, adding if or when he puts Douglas in, he expects a competitive player and not one who’s sulking. “I don’t know about significant minutes but there is a possibility that he could play. I can’t play everybody. No knock against Toney because he has done some nice things for us. But there will be times he may get in with Baron out now. … I was even thinking of starting him [Game 5]. I haven’t forgotten about him but when he gets in I expect him to play well.”
»Woodson wouldn’t address his job security but did make a small note as to why he should have the interim tag lifted: “I’ve lost some [playoff] games in a row but I was also capable of taking young teams, like the one in Atlanta, and getting them into the next round, so that should count for something…But right now it’s not about my contract and where I go from here. I’m still coaching this team and the job is not done. My concern is Game 5 and getting them ready to play.”
Follow Knicks beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.