Pablo Prigioni injury: Knicks guard out for Game 1, Chris Copeland to start

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Pablo Prigioni's absence is a tough blow for the Knicks, but Chris Copeland has played well as a starter.

New York Knicks guard Pablo Prigioni is out for Saturday's Game 1 against the Boston Celtics with a sprained ankle, and Knicks head coach Mike Woodson has tabbed Chris Copeland to start in Prigioni's place.

Prigioni sprained his right ankle toward the end of the first quarter of Wednesday's regular season finale against the Atlanta Hawks. Woodson said Saturday that Prigioni probably could have played in Game 1, but the Knicks want to be careful with the 36-year-old and hope he will be ready for Game 2.

The absence of Prigioni is significant, as he played a big role during the Knicks' recent 13-game winning streak. He started 16 of the last 17 games of the season, and he provided both stellar ball-handling and defensive ball pressure.

Copeland has played well as a starter on the year, averaging 16.1 points on 47.4 percent shooting in 13 starts. In addition to Copeland, the Knicks will start Raymond Felton, Iman Shumpert, Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler. That unit has not played a single minute together this season, according to Jonah Kaner of The Knicks Wall.

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