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Clippers Mid-Season Progress Reports: Pablo Prigioni

The 38-year-old Argentinian point guard has facilitated the Clippers' improved bench play. How do our writers grade him?

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Pablo Prigioni, in just his fourth NBA season at 38 years old, signed on with the Clippers for the veteran's minimum after being traded away from Houston and cut by Denver this off-season.  After spending the opening portion of the season on the bench, he entered the rotation in December and has averaged 2 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 steal in about 13 minutes a game since.  He's shooting poorly from the field (40.5%) and three (31.9%) but that's largely due to minute sample sizes for one of the most passive offensive players in recent memory.

Jonathan Hu: B.  For a minimum salary guy, he has been good. He actually can play some minutes, has shown chemistry with Cole Aldrich, and even has the ability to get steals when opposing teams become lazy with the ball. Ideally the team would want a younger backup PG (that is actually a PG...sorry Austin) that can play defense beyond merely some steals, but Pablo should not be knocked down for that when he contributes already.

Niels Pineda: B-: Pablo was surprisingly one of the hardest players to grade, because while I haven't been that impressed with several aspects of his game, his presence clearly still helps the team. Yes, a B- may seem a bit low for a minimum contract player, but he is passive to a faul, and his reluctance to even handle the ball is an issue. I get it, he clearly does not want to be a selfish player, but I think the Clippers benefit whenever he does attempt to control the game and run the 2nd unit. That being said, his individual performance has been a bit shakey. Some games, he is absolutely abysmal on both ends of the court, and other games, he is grabbing steals all over the place as well as dominating the PnR game with Aldrich. On top of that, his insistence to rarely shoot actually hurts, as it leads opposition to defend the pass instead of the shot. Overall, Pablo's insertion onto the 2nd unit was a clear upgrade, but it largely had to do with the facth that he was their only true option for a backup PG.

Lucas Hann: C+.  I think that Pablo is very important to this team, and I think that whenever Chris Paul rests, he should be on the floor--but that says more about the team than it does about Pablo.  He's good for a minimum-salary guy, and he brings a steadiness to the bench unit that they badly needed, but with that said, he's so passive offensively and his age impairs his physical tools on both ends.  Somehow, Pablo's managing to be a positive influence on the team at 38 by using his tremendous basketball IQ to be a probing pest on both ends, but ultimately I wouldn't consider him as being as strong of a reserve as fellow newcomers Wesley Johnson and Cole Aldrich have been.  I wish Pablo had come into the NBA before he was 35 years old--he's such a unique combination of unselfishness, creativity, and smarts that he would have been a tremendously exciting player to watch in his prime.