With deep emotions swirling around Boston, the Knicks want nothing to do with heading there in a deadlocked series. With guard Pablo Prigioni ready to return tonight to make the Knicks’ starting lineup whole again, the Knicks talked of an urgency to take a 2-0 lead in the series. Game 2 is tonight at the Garden, with the series shifting to Boston Friday and Sunday for Games 3 and 4. “We’re approaching this game as a must-win here on our home court,’’ Carmelo Anthony said. “We want to win this basketball game. We don’t want to go back to Boston 1-1. Game 2 is just harder than Game 1. Although we took care of business in Game 1, we still want to come back and not give away this game. This game is more important than Game 1 was.” The Knicks, buoyed by the news of J.R. Smith winning the Sixth Man Award, should be in better shape tonight with Prigioni stabilizing the lineup and allowing the matchups they want. Iman Shumpert gets series X-factor Jeff Green, Raymond Felton dogs Paul Pierce and Prigioni squares up with Boston point guard Avery Bradley. Prigioni’s insertion into the starting lineup last month in Utah coincided with their 13-game winning streak. “It’s huge,’’ Game 1 hero Kenyon Martin said of Game 2. “You don’t want to go up there 1-1 facing that team and that crowd. I’ve been there. “They know what they have to do. They’re going to come here and they’re going to scratch, claw, fight. They know it’s a big game. We’ve got to be prepared for whatever.” The Knicks survived Green’s 20-point first half and bottled up the Celtics by holding them to a playoff-record low eight points in the fourth quarter. But the Knicks’ ball movement and pressure defense should improve with Prigioni, moving rookie Chris Copeland back to the bench. “We want to play Knicks basketball,’’ Shumpert said. “We want to get out, we want to pressure, pressure early, we want to pressure in the full court. That’s something that Pablo loves to do, so having him back would be great.’’
Prigioni back for Knicks in ‘must-win’ game vs. Celtics
POSTED: 05:38 PM MDT Apr 23, 2013 UPDATED: 05:38 PM MDT Apr 23, 2013
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