Pablo Prigioni fills in well for Jason Kidd
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Playing 28 minutes -- the most of his NBA career -- the 35-year-old Spanish league veteran from Argentina had 11 points and seven assists as the Knicks were able to go back to the double-point-guard look that served them so well when Kidd teamed with Raymond Felton.
Now, with Kidd day-to-day with back spasms, Mike Woodson likely will use Prigioni with Felton more often, starting with Friday night's home game against the Wizards.
"Pablo can play,'' Woodson said. "He's a big part of what we're trying to do here in New York. He was great. Positive minutes. I was very proud of how he played.''
Woodson chided himself for not using Prigioni more in Monday's overtime loss to the Nets. He rectified that at the start of the second quarter Wednesday. Prigioni made his coach look good by hitting his first two shots, both three-pointers.
"It helped me a lot that I made the first two shots,'' he said. "That gave me confidence to do more things.''
Such as a steal and breakaway layup as the Knicks (10-4) went from three points down after a quarter to 10 up at halftime.
"I just tried to help the team,'' Prigioni said. "It was great because the ball started moving again. I think we had a couple of games where we didn't have the extra pass. It was fun because everyone enjoyed the game.''
Wisconsin native Steve Novak, who scored a season-high 19 points in his college arena (Marquette) with 18 family members and friends looking on, praised Prigioni for his Kidd-like ability to find the open man.
"When I see Pablo on the court, I know I'm going to get the ball when I'm open,'' Novak said. "He's going to move the ball, and that's the kind of guy that guys love to play with. He makes it easier on you.''
Prigioni is averaging 3.2 points and 2.9 assists in 14.2 minutes. Coming off the bench as the third point guard has been an adjustment because he was used to starting and playing big minutes in Europe. He saw only 11 minutes against Brooklyn even though Kidd was not available.
"I knew that without Jason I would have a couple more minutes," Prigioni said. "In Brooklyn, no. Here, yes. I just tried to be ready and help the team all the time I'd be on the court."
Felton was energized after a poor game in Brooklyn (3-for-19 shooting, including 1-for-10 in the fourth quarter and overtime). He had 12 points and seven assists in 32 minutes Wednesday.
"We have great point guards in Raymond and Jason,'' Prigioni said. "I just try to learn from them. When I have the chance like today, I know I have to be ready.''
Notes & quotes: Ronnie Brewer, who had two points in 31 minutes, played with the third and fourth fingers on his left hand taped together after he dislocated his ring finger Monday . . . The Wizards beat Minnesota on Wednesday for their first win after an 0-12 start. Former No. 1 pick John Wall is out with a knee injury.