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Melo, Knicks Get Rival Celtics In 1st Round

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- The Knicks should have their size back in time for their playoff opener, with Tyson Chandler and Kenyon Martin both on the mend.

And here's a surprise: coach Mike Woodson also said Rasheed Wallace, recovering from a broken bone in his left foot and out since December, could be available as soon as Monday night in Charlotte.

"If he doesn’t (play), we’ll have another day to prepare for the Atlanta game," Woodson said of Wallace. "If not, for sure the playoffs."

Woodson said Wallace, who is ahead of schedule, has been running and shooting the last few days.

The Knicks will host seventh-seeded Boston next weekend. New York is guaranteed the home-court advantage for the first two rounds of the playoffs after finishing a distant second to Miami in the conference.

Boston swept New York in the first round in 2011.

"That's in the back of our minds," said Carmelo Anthony. "We want to beat Boston. I mean, let's be quite frank. This would be a great series for us. It's going to be a grind-out series. We want to win this series, and that's our mindset."

The Knicks won on Sunday for the 15th time in 16 games and locked up their highest seed since they were also a No. 2 in 1994.

"It's a good feeling to be in this position, to have home-court advantage for two rounds if we're lucky enough to make it that far," point guard Raymond Felton said. "And just setting goals early in the year and accomplishing them is really big. We're definitely happy now, not satisfied, though."

After Monday, the Knicks close out the regular season at home against Atlanta on Wednesday. Woodson said he expected to rest some players and would ask certain players what they wanted to do. Anthony, who took a pounding Sunday, might sit out the finale, too, after his recent surge that moved him to the top of the league scoring race.

Then it's Boston, a veteran team that appears more dangerous than the average No. 7 seed.

"They're a very good team," reserve Steve Novak said. "I think Knicks and the Celtics is kind of storied, been a rivalry for quite a while. So we understand that it's a big series and we have to go through everybody to get where we want to go."

Melo & Co. are up to the task.

"We're looking forward to that matchup. We know what type of series it's going to be," said Anthony. "It's going to be a grind out, battle series, tough series, physical series. We're looking forward to that."

What's your prediction for the Knicks-Celtics series? Be heard in the comments!

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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