Pablo Prigioni a short-term assists option

January, 4, 2013

Pablo Prigioni is emerging as a legitimate assist option while Raymond Felton is sidelined, as he dropped nine dimes in 27 minutes for the Knicks in Thursday's win against the Spurs. The 35-year-old rookie is averaging 7.0 assists and 1.7 steals in his past three contests. His 9.7 assists per 48 minutes rank 11th in the league and his 3.5 steals per 48 rank fourth, a promising sign for a player in line for increased minutes. Last season in 10 Euroleague games, he averaged 4.6 assists, 2.2 steals and 1.2 3-pointers in just 28.6 minutes. His play this season is proving he's still capable of productivity despite his age. He's in line to average minutes in the low- to mid-20s on a consistent basis with Felton sidelined. If that's the case, he could put up averages of 5-6 assists and 1.5 steals. Don't expect gawdy scoring numbers -- he might be able to average one 3-pointer per game -- but the steals and assists should be plentiful and he's definitely worth adding if you need help in those categories.

Looking Back

Kevin Love left Wednesday's game after spraining his finger on a seemingly innocuous play, but snared 17 boards before his exit, his fourth consecutive game with double-digit rebounds. He has struggled madly with his shot this season and this injury doesn't help that, although I'd be hesitant to deal him with his value this low. I'd bank on his being able to turn things around; his 18.3 points and 14.0 rebounds in 34.3 minutes are still decent considering he has been recuperating from a broken hand and getting back into game shape thus far. It would be dangerous to give up on him when his value is at this low point.

Ty Lawson, still recovering from a strained Achilles tendon, came off the bench for the Nuggets and was clearly favoring it at times. Still, he scored 12 points in the fourth quarter and is an intriguing buy-low option; his uncharacteristically bad shooting numbers should begin to progress toward his career mean and he should improve as his health does. His value is likely the lowest it'll be this season, so if his owner is frustrated in your league, target Lawson.

Amar'e Stoudemire played his second game of the season, scoring 10 points and shooting 4-for-10 in 21 minutes of play. I have low expectations of him this season. He doesn't seem capable of providing excellent numbers in any category and is basically a somewhat-efficient scorer relegated to a bench role. I wouldn't target him in a buy-low trade, but I also wouldn't drop him or trade him for nothing; it's worth it to let him hang on your bench on the chance he becomes worthy of starting. Don't make any decisions about Stoudemire after two games.

Stephen Jackson left Thursday's game after he injured his ankle stepping on a waitress near the sideline. He's not very fantasy-relevant, scoring in double digits just once in his past 10 contests, but I really wanted to write that sentence.

Looking Ahead

• With Tyreke Evans out and Marcus Thornton questionable, look for Isaiah Thomas to continue rolling. He's averaging 14.0 points, 4.2 assists, 2.0 3s and 1.0 steals in his past five, reclaiming his role as the starter. He is once again worth owning in all formats, but is owned in just 51.0 percent of leagues.

• With Quincy Pondexter and Jerryd Bayless questionable and Wayne Ellington out, the Grizzlies will rely heavily on their starters as well as forwards Darrell Arthur and Marreese Speights, who each scored 10 points in Wednesday's game. These fringe players are in line for increased production for super-deep leagues, given the injuries that have ravaged the Grizzlies' bench as of late.

• Pau Gasol's sore foot and knees continue to limit his production, but despite his poor shooting (he has averaged just 12.8 points and shot 40.9 percent from the floor in six contests since returning), he's doing enough in other categories to still warrant a starting job. In those six games, he's averaging 8.5 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 1.8 blocks and 0.8 3s, decent production for a player hobbled by injuries. I believe Gasol's talent, despite his struggles, will trump his lack of athleticism. As he grows more acclimated to playing with Steve Nash and Dwight Howard, his numbers will inch closer to his production from last season.



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