Over the course of the offseason, Buckets Over Broadway will be doing year-end report cards of the New York Knicks roster. The roster experienced a decent amount of overhaul this season, so we’ll simply be covering the core players of the 2012-13 team. Players will be analyzed by their offense, defense, and overall contributions throughout the season. Next up is Pablo Prigioni.
Offense: At 35 years old, Pablo Prigioni was an unusual rookie as the European import became one of the oldest first-year players in NBA history. But he proved to be a solid pass first point guard. The problem was that it took Mike Woodson two-thirds of the season to realize that he was the most consistent point guard on the roster during the season. With Prigioni in the starting lineup the Knicks finished the regular season 16-2 and I think that speaks a lot about the impact the veteran/rookie had on this team.
The numbers aren’t great as Prigioni averaged only 3.5 points and 3.5 assists per game, but you have to look deeper than that.
He averaged only 15 minutes per game up until March 15 as Woodson somehow felt it was best to bury Prigioni on the bench. But as a starter the final 18 games, his numbers improved as did the Knicks win totals.
Prigioni displayed a well-rounded offensive game although he was a bit too unselfish at times. While his scoring numbers weren’t great, he was the Knicks most consistent backcourt shooter, knocking down 51.9 of his attempts from the floor and 45.7 of his shots from beyond the arc.
He was the guy who made the Knicks offense go. He was unselfish and provided a sense of direction to an offense that lacked one. The only times the ball moved was when Prigioni was on the floor.
You need proof of how much he impacted the Knicks offense?
During the playoffs, the Knicks scored a tremendous 20 points more per 100 possessions with Prigs on the court. That alone begs the question of why he didn’t get more minutes. Grade: B+
Defense: While Raymond Felton spent the season getting torched by opposing point guards, just the opposite was true with Prigioni.
He was very active defensively and proved to be a bit of a ball-stopper. Prigioni was aggressive and even when he didn’t get minutes early in the season; he provided a spark with his energy defensively. Every game he had countless numbers of steals and tipped passes, which showed that the Knicks were also better defensively when he was on the floor. Grade: B+
Overall Grade: It’s hard to make a solid case of why Prigioni didn’t get more minutes this season. The bottom line is that the Knicks were far more effective at both ends of the floor when he was playing. At the end of the day the bottom line is winning and the Knicks did that when he played. Grade: B+
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