Notebook: Felton steps up with Smith out

April, 28, 2013
4/28/13
8:26
PM ET
BOSTON -- After the Knicks' Game 2 win, Kevin Garnett called Raymond Felton "the X-factor" in the first-round series.

After Game 4, even though the Knicks lost 97-90 in overtime, Felton was one of the best scoring point guards on the planet, putting up 27 points on 10-for-21 shooting.

It was needed without the team's second-leading scorer, J.R. Smith (18.1 points per game), who was serving a one-game suspension after throwing an elbow into Jason Terry's chin in Game 3.

[+] EnlargeRaymond Felton
Mark L. Baer/USA TODAY SportsRaymond Felton finished with 27 points in the Knicks' Game 4 loss.
"[Felton] was huge in this game for us, especially missing J.R.," Kenyon Martin said afterward. "We needed someone else to make shots for us, and he did that for us. Ray is a professional. He's the ultimate competitor, and that's what we need from him each and every night."

Felton's biggest impact came in the third quarter, when the Knicks outscored the Celtics, 30-14. Not only was he making shots, but he was also active boxing out Avery Bradley and grabbing boards, and aggressively halfcourt trapping. He finished with threes steals.

Overall in the game, Felton consistently got deep into the paint -- "That's one of the things that we've been able to do this whole series," he said -- and he was money from downtown, finishing 4-for-9 from that range.

"For him, it's just always mentality," Steve Novak told ESPNNewYork.com. "Is he looking for other guys more, is he shooting? I think with J.R. out, I think he knew he had to be a little bit more aggressive. It just shows that he can be the other scorer."

COPING WITH IT: In a curious coaching decision, Chris Copeland did not play in Game 4.

With J.R. Smith out, the team may have benefited from Copeland's offense. But the rookie was glued to the bench for all 53 minutes of basketball on Sunday.

Copeland said afterward that he was healthy enough to play (he's dealing with an injured shoulder). He did not know the thinking behind his DNP but did not take issue with it.

With Smith out, Woodson went with Jason Kidd as his first guard off the bench. He also played Quentin Richardson for 2:46 in the second quarter. The Knicks were outscored by six points with Richardson on the floor.

For the series, Copeland is scoreless in 24 minutes. He has attempted five shots.

TYSON FEELS "LIVELY": Tyson Chandler was on the floor for a playoff-high 31 minutes on Sunday and said afterward that his conditioning is improving day by day.

"I'm starting to get my legs back, get some spring," Chandler said after pulling down 11 rebounds and blocking a shot in Game 4.

Chandler missed 16 of the Knicks' final 20 regular season games lost weight due to an illness late in the regular season. So he didn't quite look like himself in the first two games of the series. But he was encouraged by Sunday's outing.

"I felt great tonight. I felt real lively, was moving around real well. Thought I gave my team an opportunity," he said.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Carmelo Anthony
PTS AST STL MIN
27.4 3.1 1.2 38.7
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsC. Anthony 8.1
AssistsP. Prigioni 3.5
StealsI. Shumpert 1.2
BlocksA. Bargnani 1.2