Knicks have point guard problem after Pablo Prigioni breaks big toe

Pablo Prigioni controls the ball against the Washington Pablo Prigioni controls the ball against the Washington Wizards during a game at Madison Square Garden. (Dec. 16, 2013) Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

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Let's get to the point -- the Knicks have a big problem.

Already without Raymond Felton, the Knicks lost Pablo Prigioni in the third quarter of last night's 102-101 loss to the Wizards. Prigioni has a hairline fracture of his right big toe and will be out at least two weeks.

Felton is out another two to three weeks with a hamstring injury, so where do the Knicks (7-17) go from here at point guard? Beno Udrih took over when Prigioni went down, but his late-game gaffes arguably cost the team a win. How about Iman Shumpert? Chris Smith?

"Pablo is a big loss," Carmelo Anthony said. "We have a shortage at the point-guard position. But we got to make do right now. There's nothing we can do about that. Guys got to bring the ball up and help at that position."

With Udrih the only true point guard left, the Knicks could go deeper into talks with the Raptors for Kyle Lowry. The Knicks have not wanted to part with a first-round pick -- which Toronto would like as part of a package -- but they could reconsider now, given their current situation.

If the Knicks refuse to include a first-round pick, the Raptors will want either Shumpert or Tim Hardaway Jr. The Knicks don't want to give up Hardaway and would prefer to use Shumpert in a bigger deal.

As for Smith, who is with the D-League Erie Bayhawks, Mike Woodson said he will be evaluated today. Shumpert is another possibility to handle the ball more. "I'm ready for whatever," he said. "That's Coach's decision."

On paper, Udrih didn't perform poorly last night. He had 12 points and five assists, and the Knicks rallied in the third quarter with him on the court. But he also missed a big free throw that would've given the Knicks a two-point lead with 24 seconds left and let Bradley Beal go by him for the go-ahead layup with 6.9 seconds remaining when the Knicks had a foul to give.

"It happened so fast and he was thinking the help [defense] was there when it wasn't there," Woodson said. "He couldn't even reach to grab the guy to attempt the foul."

Then, in the bizarre final seconds, no one on the Knicks called timeout, although they had three left. Anthony took his time bringing the ball upcourt and forced a double-clutch three-pointer that ricocheted off the backboard without even hitting the rim as time expired.

Prigioni has been reliable, if unspectacular, in his one-plus seasons with the Knicks. He averaged 7.0 points and 6.3 assists in the previous four games. The 36-year-old is heady, and the Knicks could have used that trait down the stretch last night.

"Another body down, another body gone," Anthony said. "We can't wait to get him back."

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