The Houston Rockets acquired Pablo Prigioni in the eleventh hour on the NBA trade deadline after much speculation that either Phoenix Suns point guard, Goran Dragic or Oklahoma City guard, Reggie Jackson would be donning a Rockets jersey by 3pm Thursday. The Houston Rockets relinquished a pair of future second round picks and guard, Alex Shved, to the New York Knicks. The trade has mainly gone unnoticed by most media outlets, however, this could be a huge move for the Rockets by stabilizing and adding depth to the point guard position, as the Rockets gear up for a title run.
Rockets standing Pat with Beverley
Houston expects Patrick Beverley to guide the team deep into the playoffs, and this should now be possible with the addition of Prigioni. Beverley doesn’t have to look over his shoulder and question his security, as would have been the case with an acquisition of Dragic or Jackson.
Beverley has the point guard skills but hasn’t shown the ability to orchestrate an offense. Prigioni can help develop him into the playmaker that can challenge the elite guards of the league.
For many years in the Spanish Liga ACB League and the Euroleague, Prigioni was regarded as the best point guard. Three years ago, when Prigioni was an NBA rookie, he was a teammate of the experienced Jason Kidd, who was fresh off an NBA championship. The Jason Kidd that became a willing teacher, who matured into a mentor, that developed into a NBA Head Coach, and who shared firsthand his future Hall of Fame knowledge with Prigioni.
Prigioni is not fast, but can be very quick and deceptive when changing speeds. He won’t blow past you off the dribble, but he finds a way to consistently get in the lane. Once he’s in the heart of the defense, his tremendous court vision allows him to make quick passes from unique viewpoints that find wide-open shooters or teammates slashing to the basket. At times, he can be a team player to a fault-Prigioni is a reluctant shooter who is always thinking, “Pass first”. But his “team first” mentality is the reason for constant player movement when he’s on the floor. His teammates know if they keep moving, his pass will eventually find them for open looks.
Prigioni is an unselfish point guard that would rather register assists than score points. His presence on the roster can pay huge dividends for the Houston Rockets’ title hopes. By assisting in Beverley’s development at point guard, creating open perimeter shots, feeding the bigs in the post with the lost art of the entry-passing and establishing a quicker offensive pace, the team will be established as legitimate contenders.
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