Dec 1, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks point guard Pablo Prigioni (9) drives around New Orleans Pelicans point guard Brian Roberts (22) during the second quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks: Making the case for Pablo Prigioni

Over the course of this pathetic campaign for the New York Knicks, one major positive has come out in Pablo Prigioni.

But Mike Woodson being Mike Woodson has opted to give Raymond Felton minutes he does not deserve whatsoever, considering his form has earned him a nickname surrounding him in Portland in “Fatty Ray Felton.”

If Woodson was to acknowledge the existence of Prigioni not only would the Knicks be on track as of right now, but they wouldn’t be in the mess they are currently in.

Over the course of this season Prigioni, 36, has averaged 3.4 ppg on 54 percent shooting from the field, and 50 percent from behind the arc, 2.5 apg, 1.8 rpg, and 1.1 spg.

But one of the statistics that has just broken out that is shocking most Knicks fans is the fact that when Prigioni is on the court efficiency is at an all time high compared to when he is off the court.

Here is an example from the 41-point blowout to Boston.

In the 17 minutes Prigioni was on the court, the Knicks shot 65 percent (14/22) from the field and 80 percent (4/5) from behind the arc. They attempted 15 free throws, the ball movement was better with seven assists over that period of time, and the Knicks offense and defense were in sync as they put up 43 points while giving up 43 points.

Now for the ugly side for those statistics; the time when Prigioni was off the court.

In the 31 minutes Prigioni was sitting on the bench the Knicks shot an abysmal 22percent (11/51) from the field, and a pathetic 18 percent (2/11) from behind the arc.

With the Knicks having attempted 15 free throws in the 17 minutes Prigioni was on the court, they attempted only eight when Felton or Beno Udrih was leading the offense, while the ball movement did not seem to exist as there were only six assists over the 31 minutes.

But the most shocking statistic is how well Prigioni runs the offense.

With Felton and Udrih on the court the Knicks mustered up a whole 3o points in 31 minutes while giving up 71 points compared to the leveled 43 – 43 which Prigioni produced with his time on the court.

Is any more proof needed after that?

Well, there is one more statistic to backup my case. Prigioni has a PER of 13.91, while his counterparts in Felton and Udrih have PER’s of 11.92 and 8.19 respectively.

Both Felton and Udrih have put up below average numbers, and considering the fact that both of them have had the chance to start it is pathetic to think that a second year player is outclassing both of them. But down to the bigger issue, we saw that last season when Woodson ran the dual point guard lineup, the Knicks flourished finishing the regular season off with a 16-2 run leading to their first Atlantic Division title since the 1993-1994 season where Patrick Ewing was their catalyst.

Prigioni is a player where ball movement is the one thing that he ensures a team will have, he is clearly a pass first point guard and with players such as Carmelo Anthony, and Andrea Bargnani who thrive on open looks to get the bulk of their points, he is the perfect point guard to help with that.

With a player like Iman Shumpert who is deadly behind the arc, Prigioni’s ability to drive is key as it means that Shumpert could get more open looks and potentially more points. Prigioni should be given the chance to start and once he does, the points will start flooding in, alongside the wins.

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Tags: Mike Woodson New York Knicks Pablo Prigioni Raymond Felton

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