Practice Report: Melo treats shoulder

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- During Thursday morning's practice, Carmelo Anthony received treatment for his left shoulder, which he hurt in the fourth quarter of Game 5 after getting tangled up with Kevin Garnett.

Mike Woodson said he doesn't believe the injury will affect Anthony in Game 6 on Friday night in Boston.

"He's fine," the coach said. "Melo's a tough kid, he'll be back."

No player has had to grind more for his shots in the series than Anthony, who's been facing multiple matchups, constant double-teams and the physical nature of the Celtics' defense. Raymond Felton said the team needs to make things easier for him.

"Melo is taking a beating," he said. "Those guys are really being physical with him, beating him up. It's just one of those things where we have to give him some help, plain and simple."

The Knicks know they need to generate better ball flow, and Woodson said he'll likely give Pablo Prigioni more playing time in Game 6. The Argentine only played 13 minutes in Game 5.

In addition, Anthony might play more point forward to create easier scoring opportunities.

"Basically they've shrunk our offense by just staying at home on shooters," Woodson said. "So we've got to get the ball moving two or three passes more before we let it go, and not quick shooting as much."

Overall, Woodson doesn't take issue with his team's defense. After watching video of Wednesday night's loss, he thought his players contested the Celtics' shots down the stretch.

"If you look at Paul [Pierce], he hit a couple of 3s with a man right in his face, which he's capable of doing," he said. "And then [Jeff] Green hit two 3s deep in the corner. So those are big buckets -- even the shot that Garnett hit on Tyson [Chandler] at the top when it was, I think, about a four- to six-point game. ... I think defensively we're doing what we're supposed to do. We've just got to figure out offensively."

NOVAKAINE SHOT? Woodson said Steve Novak (back spasms) is doubtful for Game 6. The sharpshooter only played three minutes on Wednesday night. He was pulled out early in the second quarter and never returned to the game.

STAT UPDATE: Amar'e Stoudemire continued to participate in some team drills on Thursday, but he's still not scrimmaging. That will be the big test for his return, which will likely be in the second round if New York beats Boston.

"He's great," Felton said. "He's working hard to try to get himself back. If we can close this thing out in this first round, get on to the second round, hopefully we can have him back by then. ... Any time you've got a big-time scorer like that down in the post, it's always good to have him back on the court for sure."

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