‘You Need To Stay Out Of The Papers And Just Concentrate On Playing’

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Knicks head coach Mike Woodson is not very happy with his team at the moment.

For starters, New York has let the Celtics win two consecutive games after taking the first three of the series, forcing a Game 6 in Boston on Friday.

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And if the prospect of a historic collapse isn’t bad enough, Woodson is upset with his team for its recent off-the-court actions.

Prior to the Knicks’ loss in Game 5 at Madison Square Garden, players wore all black to symbolize a funeral for the visiting Celtics.

“I’m a little upset about that and I’ve addressed that,” Woodson told reporters after practice on Thursday. “… Things like that have just got to be, just kept outside the game and just concentrate on playing basketball.”

After the Knicks lost to the Celtics in Game 4 at TD Garden on Sunday, Kenyon Martin told his fellow teammates to wear “funeral black” to Game 5, according to ESPN.

The coach told reporters that he was unaware of the players’ decision to do this, and he “absolutely” would have stopped them from doing so had he known about it earlier.

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“I made reference to our guys, you need to stay out of the papers and just concentrate on playing,” Woodson said. “That’s not important. What you’re wearing doesn’t have anything to do with how you play on the basketball floor. I’ve addressed that with our players and that’s enough. The game is played on the floor and that’s where it should be played.”

No team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit in the NBA Playoffs, which is what the Celtics are attempting to do right now. Despite Wednesday night’s disappointing defeat, Woodson said that he and his team still feel very confident as the series shifts up north for the second time.

“We’re confident,” Woodson said. “We’re 3-2 in the series and still facing a close-out game. I feel pretty good about it and our guys feel good. We just got to go give back what we gave away last night. We got to go back there and try and figure it out tomorrow night.”

Game 6 will tip off at 7:00 p.m. on Friday night.

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