Houston Rockets End of the Year Review: Point Guard, Pablo Prigoni
May 12, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard Pablo Prigioni (9) dribbles against the Los Angeles Clippers in game five of the second round of the NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Rockets won 124 to 103. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
The 38-year old Argentine point guard will be playing his 4th year in the NBA this upcoming season. Pablo Prigioni has become a solid role player that can lock-down on hot players and hit open shots when necessary. He has proven his worth in the NBA and if released, won’t be out of work for long.
Houston is clearly trying to re-structure their point guard situation to give James Harden a little help in the front court. Some say that Patrick Beverley should stay, some believe in drafting a point guard high in the draft and some people even want to make a run at Ty Lawson? However, Pablo’s contract is good for one more year in Houston, although keeping him around will be a tough question for the Rockets front office since there will be an almost 2-million dollar cap hit.
May 14, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Houston Rockets guard Pablo Prigioni (9) drives past Los Angeles Clippers guard Austin Rivers (25) in game six of the second round of the NBA Playoffs at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
His stats aren’t what keeps Prigioni employed in the Association, his tenacity, hustle and ball handling are his top strengths that he uses to his advantage.
Prigioni hit some massive shots in Houston’s playoff run this year, especially after the point guard position was left to Jason Terry and Pablo following Beverley’s injury. He played above his average minutes and numbers during the playoffs and did what he could to slow down the eventual champs, the Splash Bros. and company in the Western Conference Finals.
The city embraced “Prigi” as he played a Matthew Dellavedova role for the Rockets in this year’s playoffs. Can he return and be more productive than last season? Probably not, but he is a player the Rockets will really need to evaluate before deciding to let walk.
Next: Statistics for the South American in 2014-2015
Mar 29, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Houston Rockets guard Pablo Prigioni (9) passes the ball as Washington Wizards forward Nene Hilario (42) looks on during the second half at Verizon Center. The Houston Rockets won 99 – 91. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Prigioni was averaging his highest amount of points on a beat-up Knicks squad early in the season before he joined the Rockets. He knew his minutes would be chopped down, but he was in a much better situation than New York.
Pablo Prigioni Stats for the 2014-2015 Houston Rockets
- 24 Games (never started)
- 3.0 PPG
- 2.8 APG
- 1.6 RPG
- .343 FG%
- .867 FT%
- .275 3PT.%
Pablo also notched a steal per game and had 12 three-pointers fall in the post-season. He will need to clean up on the turnovers if he plans to stay in Houston, but that will come with the chemistry and playing with guys like Josh Smith and Dwight Howard on a more frequent basis.
Prigioni was the fourth-best Argentine stat-wise in the NBA this season behind Manu Ginobili, Luis Scola and Carlos Delfino. By next season he could be at the top of that list, but all four players are getting close to 40 years old, the youngest being Delfino at 33.
Next: Pablo's Future
May 19, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Houston Rockets guard Pablo Prigioni (9) shoots against the Golden State Warriors in the first half in game one of the Western Conference Finals of the NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
There weren’t a huge selection of highlights from Priginoi’s season this year, but he got his shine a few times, like this April game where he was awarded NBA TV’s Steal of the Night:
Not impressed? How about this nasty pass?
If that’s not enough then watch these highlights from Prigioni and the Rockets Game 7 win over the Clippers in the playoffs:
There is definitely value in Prigioni’s game, it just having him in the game at the right time when his skill set can be used. Coach McHale isn’t to blame for him only averaging a few points per game and it’s not easy at all trying to get a guy in the game at the “perfect” time.
Even if Pablo doesn’t end up suiting up for Houston next season, he can still make an impact. He had dinner with Rocket-hopeful Sergio Llull who seems quite interested in Clutch City…
PG Pablo Prigioni had Dinner with Spanish PG Sergio Llull last night.He wanted to know everything about the Houston Rockets organization.
— Stros 41-30 (@HtxMade87) June 22, 2015
I predict that Pablo Prigioni will be in a Rocket’s uniform to start the season. He may see the court 5-to-10 times before Houston realizes they have one too many point guards. At that point, he will probably be shipped to a Eastern Conference team with no guards and will end up retiring in the next two seasons. Either way good luck and many props to a guy who was able to enter the NBA after passing the age of 35.