The New York Knicks and Boston Celtics are set for a rivalry tip-off in about an hour to open up the first game of a seven-game set between the No.2-seeded Knicks and the No.7-seeded Celtics in Madison Square Garden.
According to Ian Begley of ESPN New York Chris Copeland is starting for Pablo Prigioni today, as Prigioni is inactive with an ankle injury. Prigioni was expected to be inactive for today’s tilt, so this confirms that he won’t be starting despite head coach Mike Woodson’s optimism. Woodson said that Prigioni could play if the Knicks really needed him to, but they will wait things out and allow him to be fresh for Game 2 on Tuesday.
Copeland is the starter in name right now, but he probably won’t receive much playing time but does average 8.7 points per game and is on fire. He put up 33 points against the Atlanta Hawks, 32 against the Charlotte Bobcats, and 20 in the garden against the Indiana Pacers. He was seen wearing the starter’s jersey in practice yesterday, thus cementing the fact that Prigioni’s absence is no surprise. Copeland did suffer a minor shoulder injury in his last game (that 33-point effort against Atlanta), but he is certainly good-to-go for today’s rivalry tilt.
Center Marcus Camby will be active, per a tweet from Tommy Beer, but Woodson stated that he isn’t sure whether or not the 39-year-old UMass product will be able to play today. Plantar fasciitis has plagued Camby throughout the 2012 season, and he has only played in 251 total minutes this year. The fact that he is active is good for the Knicks, but he’s going to continue to be stuffed on the bench due to the health of his foot. However, Camby did practice on Thursday and could make an impact later on in the series.