Notebook: Cope anchors bench
April, 1, 2013
By Jared Zwerling and Ian Begley | ESPNNewYork.com
Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY SportsChris Copeland poured in 22 points off the bench to help the Knicks beat the Celtics at MSG.In the Knicks' 108-89 win over the Celtics, Chris Copeland proved once again that he's money in extended playing time.
In only 20 minutes, the versatile scoring forward put up 22 points on 6-for-10 shooting and 7-for-9 from the line. He scored from 3-point range, out of the low post, driving to the basket and off pick-and-pops and rolls. He also had five rebounds -- three offensive, which led to two putback buckets -- and a steal cutting off an Avery Bradley pass.
Copeland even played center during the game when Mike Woodson went with a smaller lineup.
"I actually played center in college and in spurts overseas as well, but it's definitely not my natural position," he told ESPNNewYork.com. "Whatever I can do out there, I just go crazy, setting screens, rebound -- whatever I can do out there."
Copeland credited the team's improved ball flow as a big factor for his, and the team's, recent offensive success. Over their past seven games, all wins, the Knicks are shooting nearly 50 percent from the field.
"When we [move the ball], we're going to be very hard to beat because we have countless weapons," he said. "I think we're as deep as anybody in the league. From top to bottom, we're so dangerous."
After the game, Woodson said the team has been continuing to work with Copeland on his defense. Kenyon Martin has been a big help behind the scenes.
"Kenyon's been extremely vocal lately about telling me to be in the right place at the right time," Copeland said. "That's my biggest issue -- being in the right position."
MILD MARCH: The March schedule was a brutal one for the Knicks. Eighteen games. Ten on the road. A five-game West Coast trip. Six back-to-backs.
But they came out of it just fine, as they went 12-6 in the month -- their highest win total since March 1994, when they finished 14-0.
"We're playing like we're trying to get something accomplished, and that's winning the division and trying to secure that second spot [in the Eastern Conference]," Woodson said. "It's a great month; now we've got to figure out April."
MELO'S MADNESS: Former Syracuse star Carmelo Anthony has won bets against Jason Kidd [California], Woodson [Indiana] and Steve Novak [Marquette], thanks to the Orange's run in the NCAA tournament.
Syracuse's win over Marquette means Novak will have to wear an orange warmup suit on the team's flight to Miami. If Syracuse reaches the national championship game against Louisville, Anthony may have a wager with J.R. Smith.
"J.R. is rooting for Louisville and he didn't even go to school," Melo joked.
MIAMI NOT NICE: Iman Shumpert will be returning to Miami for the first time since Game 1 of the Knicks-Heat first-round series last year. That's definitely been on his mind.
"I've been dreading it for a long time," he said. "I really don't like being in Miami anymore because of it, but once they tip the ball up, it's just basketball."
NOVAKAINE!: For the first time since Jan. 3-17, Novak has made at least one 3-pointer in seven straight games. He was 2-for-3 from downtown tonight.
Novak also shared a few interesting tidbits into some Knicks and other timely topics:
Raymond Felton's 3/4-court shot at the halftime buzzer: "He knew it was good and I did, too, as soon as he shot it, I'm telling you. He shoots those all the time [in practice]."
Being one of three players (Jason Kidd and Pablo Prigioni are the others) who haven't dunked yet this season: "Hey, look, if the guys would look for me more on the break, maybe [laughs]. We need to put a backdoor set in for me."
Motivation at the team's training facility: "[Rasheed Wallace] wrote, 'Teamwork makes a dream work,' and he drew a pretty accurate [Larry] O'Brien trophy, which was pretty impressive actually how good it was considering he thought he could erase it."
Kevin Ware's horrific injury during the Duke-Louisville game: "Half of us saw it live in the training room and they replayed it a few times. When they were replaying it, everybody yelled to cut the TVs off."
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