Right away you might not think a third string point guard would have much of an impact on a team, but as you’ve seen in the past this has been proven wrong. Jeremy Lin was a third string point guard behind Toney Douglas and Mike Bibby and look what he created – Linsanity. I’m not saying that Pablo Prigioni will bring Prigionity, but he can definitely be an asset on this team.
Probably the most experienced rookie in the NBA after playing years of international ball, the 35 year old brings to the table his veteran leadership skills (you can never get enough of that) and his unselfish point guard skills. This was a perfect addition for the Knicks squad as was Jason Kidd since they have a ton of scorers and just needed players to control the floor. He’s a type of player that will play smart, find the hot shooter, help space out the floor, and try to fix the often-staggered offense.
I could see Prigioni getting his minutes in two different situations. The first is when head coach Mike Woodson decides to pair up Kidd and Felton together in the backcourt and Prigioni would be used to play the backup minutes. The other situation would be when Felton is looking sloppy out there, throwing the ball away, and taking bad shots (this did happen often on the Trail Blazers last season) and then Kidd comes in, and at age 39 where he’s hobbling up and down the floor, can’t cover a speedy player like like Russell Westbrook or Derrick Rose – Prigioni would then come into the game and help at the point for a bit. I know Prigioni is not much younger than Kidd, but after playing in Argentina and in Europe, he has adapted to the physical play and can handle the extra pressure.
You can tell by Prigioni’s attitude that he really wants to help out the Knicks team. In an article by Marc Berman of the New York Post, Prigioni says he “really feel I can help the team — 10 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, doesn’t matter.”
Manu Ginobili, Prigioni’s Argentine teammate has weighed in and mentioned :
“He’s been one of the best point guards in Europe for many years… I have complete confidence in him. He’s a great player, great character. Not shy of taking a tough position and making a big shot.’’
Hopefully we will see this type of play when Prigioni comes to the Big Apple this year.