GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Mike Woodson wasn’t happy. In fact, the Knicks coach said he was “upset” by his team’s all-black attire before Game 5, as they dressed to attend a funeral that didn’t happen.
“I didn’t know about it until this morning,” Woodson said. “I made reference to our guys that we need to stay out of the paper and just concentrate on playing. That’s not important. What you wear doesn’t have anything to do with how you play on the basketball court.”
Woodson said he addressed the issue with the players and “that’s enough.”
He did say had he known about the stunt, he would have stopped it. And he wasn’t the only one pleading innocence on the issue. Raymond Felton said he didn’t know anything about a funeral, he had just been told to wear black to the game.
“I’m a little upset about that, and I’ve addressed that,” Woodson said. “We’re a new team on the block, basically. A lot of these guys have been in the league, but when it comes to this team, this team hasn’t been assembled that long for playoffs.
“Things like that have just got to be kept outside the game. Just concentrate on playing basketball.”
Tyson Chandler’s take, however, was a bit different.
“We did that every single time we had a close-out game in Dallas,” Chandler said of the championship-winning Mavericks. “It just reminds you of what you’re trying to accomplish.
“It’s nothing against the Celtics. It’s something we were doing as a team. It wasn’t meant to offend anybody or anything like that. It was meant to motivate the guys in the locker room.”
Despite losing the last two games, the Knicks say they still control the series. But their hold on the series seems mighty tenuous.
“There’s a sense of urgency,” Woodson said. “It’s not going to be easy by any means going to Boston and getting a win there. But, again, we still control our own destiny. We have won in Boston, so we’ve got to see what we’re made of now.
“They came in here and took a game on our floor. We’ve got to go get it back.”
Said Felton, who was the Knicks’ lone bright spot on offense in Game 5, “There’s no panic on our end. We’re up, 3-2. We’ve just got to go try to close this thing out.”
Felton said he loved the confidence his team displayed. He said he didn’t think the Knicks were overconfident. “There’s no need to get cocky,’’ he said. “I don’t think nobody is getting cocky on this team. We’re just trying to find a way to fight.”
It was a sentiment echoed by his coach.
“I think we’re still confident,” Woodson said. “We’re 3-2 in the series, and still facing a close-out game. So I feel pretty good about it, and our guys feel good. We’ve just got to go get back what we gave away.”
Woodson insisted it wasn’t a defensive issue for the Knicks — despite allowing the Celtics to shoot 45.7 percent on Wednesday — his team just needed to make its offense work.
Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith need to get on track.
Anthony, who did not speak to the media, spent practice getting treatment on his left shoulder. He got tangled with Kevin Garnett in Game 5. Anthony is expected to play Game 6. Asked if the shoulder would hinder Anthony, Woodson said, “I hope not.”
Smith, who missed his first 10 shots in Game 5, is expecting a rather cool welcome from the crowd at TD Garden and Woodson wants to make sure his player is prepared.
“It’s my job as the coach to make sure that guys are ready to play, and yes, it’s going to be a hostile environment,” Woodson said. “We’ve been there before, and he’s got to step up and play. It’s just that simple.”
Added Woodson, “I’m expecting Melo to have a big game [on Friday]. Him and J.R. both.”
To do that, Smith and his teammates have to put the last two games behind them.
“Our goal was to host the first round and get out of the first round,” Woodson said. “That hasn’t changed. We’ve got to figure out how we can win one game, one out of these two games to advance to the next round.”
Or, as Chandler said, “We hold our own destiny.”
Steve Novak is doubtful for Game 6 with back spasms. He played just 2:50 in Game 5 before leaving with the injury . . . Chandler also spent time in the trainer’s room Thursday, dealing with the neck issue that had kept him out of the final six games of the regular season. “It’s the first time in a while I felt really good,” Chandler said. “Looking forward to Game 6. I feel like my conditioning is up to par now. Timing. It should be good.”Amalie Benjamin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @amaliebenjamin.