Dec 17, 2013, 10:15 AM EDT
The Knicks recently elevated Pablo Prigioni’s role, and they were better for it.
In the three games prior to Monday’s contest against Washington, Prigioni played 31, 39 and 31 minutes – his first 30-minute games since a season-opening win over the Bucks. And he produced: 16 assists, one turnover and eight steals in the three games. The Knicks’ offensive rating with Prigioni on the court in that span (110.7) was better than the the Trail Blazers’ league-leading mark. And the Knicks’ defensive rating with Prigioni (97.1) would trail only the Spurs and Pacers over a full season.
He keeps the ball moving and puts effort into defense. It’s not that Prigioni is a great player, but his skills fill some of New York’s biggest holes.
Prigioni left the Knicks’ loss to the Wizards on Monday, and the prognosis is not good.
This seems relatively minor, but Prigioni is 36, and any injuries to someone that age can be very serious. New York can hope Prigioni returns soon, but it’s difficult to say with certainty he’ll return to full health quickly.
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Coach Mike Woodson said shooting guard Iman Shumpert might fill in at point guard and that the Knicks might call up Chris Smith, J.R. Smith‘s brother, from the team’s D-League affiliate, the Erie BayHawks.
Those options aren’t exactly inspiring, either. Shumpert is a fine wing player, but he doesn’t have the playmaking skills to run point regularly. And Chris Smith’s flawed resume is well-documented.
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