TOK Roundtable – Pablo Prigioni Edition

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Every week at Turn On The Knicks our staff will debate an issue of the week surrounding the team here in Roundtable Format. Make sure to give everybody a follow on Twitter, and follow the site right here. Let us know if you agree/disagree.

What do you expect from Pablo Prigioni this season?

Joe Caporoso - Timely flat footed jumpers. Sneaky steals. Savvy overall basketball that makes everybody on the team better. Let’s just hope Mike Woodson gives Prigioni more overall playing time and is consistent with his use throughout the entire year. It was a very strong move for the Knicks to bring fan favorite Prigs back, who is one of their most efficient and heady players. With Jason Kidd now massaging Deron Williams’ ego full time, his presence is even more important to this team. Prigioni should only be better in his second full season in the NBA and while his stats will never tell the full story of his value, he should remain one of the team’s most important players.

Chris Celletti - Does Mike Woodson like Pablo Prigioni or not? First, it took Woody a while last season to see Prigioni’s value. Only because of injuries did he decide to start, and dole out more minutes to, the Argentinean, and when he did the Knicks NOT LOSE, LIKE EVER. And now, when to me it’s clear that the Knicks’ best and most effective lineups are the one where Prigioni shares the court with another point guard, it feels like Woodson is going to relegate him to the bench and go “big”, with Iman Shumpert in the backcourt and Andrea Bargnani up front. If indeed Prigioni doesn’t start, I still expect him to have a big impact whenever he’s on the court. Last year, the percentage of Knicks’ field goals that were assisted was seven percentage points higher with Prigioni on the floor (57% vs. 50% when he was sitting). Prigioni takes care of the ball and moves the ball. And when teams do that, they shoot better and score more points. And win more games. Basketball can be pretty simple sometimes, and Prigioni simply makes the Knicks’ a more well-oiled machine.

Kevin Smith - Prigioni probably won’t see as many minutes as we would all like him to play, but if the Knicks are going to be successful in to the playoffs, they’re going to need his presence. In his lone season in the NBA, Prigs showed to be a valuable piece on the floor without having to even shoot the rock. Once the playoffs came around, he showed off an improved, flat-footed jumper, and was an integral piece in getting the Knicks to the second round. I expect we’ll see more basketball intelligence and steals off of inbounds passes this season.

Aaron Jacobs - Last year Pablo Prigioni was a huge addition to the New York Knicks. It wasn’t all about the numbers for the 35 year old “rookie”, he brought experience from his playing days in Argentina and a pass-first style of point guard play desperately needed off the Knicks bench last season. He only avereged 3.5 points and 3.0 assists per game, but his passing created open looks on many plays that didn’t go down as assists. His three point shooting also improved as the year went on.

Where his real contribution comes in is defensively. He only averaged 0.9 steals per game, but his pesky style of defense often lead to bad passes and turnovers for the Knicks. At 6’3″ he gives the Knicks length at a position that today has guys like Russell Westbrook, Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo and Deron Williams, who are all above 6’1″ and can finish at the rim. With Jason Kidd moving across the borough to coach the Brooklyn Nets, Prigioni will become the Knicks backup point guard meaning he will get more minutes and play a much bigger role. I expect the numbers to be similar probably around 3-5 points, 4-5 assists and 1 steal per game which will be a huge contribution.

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