Clippers have nothing but praise for Pablo Prigioni


Sep 25, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Pablo Prigioni (9) poses for a photo during media day at the Clipper Training Facility in Playa Vista. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Pablo Prigioni may only be the Los Angeles Clippers’ third point guard, but his pesky defense and attitude on and off the court is earning him instant praise from his new team. Regardless of the fact the Clippers are only four practices and two preseason games into their 2015-16 campaign, Prigioni is already emerging as one of the most likeable guys on the team.

Although, as a clever veteran with a high basketball IQ and attitude to bother opponents in any way he can on defense, the Clippers and their fans can’t ask for much more from Prigioni.

Rowan Kavner of has reported some comments made by Jamal Crawford on his new Argentinian teammate, and he has nothing but praise:

"“Pablo’s been great,” said Crawford. “I think he’s the one person who’s jumped out to me, like, ‘Oh, he’s better than I thought I was.’ You don’t see enough of him.”“He came over later in his career, but he’s so clever with the basketball,” Crawford said. “He’s a pest on defense. He’s just a solid teammate on and off the court. He’s one of my favorites already.”"

Chris Paul referred to Prigioni’s attitude, too:

"“He brings veteran leadership,” Paul said. “He’s just steady. He’s not a guy that makes a lot of mistakes. He brings intensity, picks up full court.”"

In terms of Prigioni’s control of the game on offense, Blake Griffin spoke very highly of what he has to offer.

Clearly the Clippers’ All-NBA power forward thinks their new 38 year old point guard can handle the offense while Paul and Austin Rivers are on the bench:

"“I think he’s just very, very savvy, very smart with the ball,” said Griffin. “It seems like he’s always under control, looking to make the right play, the right pass. He’s got a lot of experience playing professionally. We’ll look to that for veteran leadership.”"

In addition to a few of the Clippers’ top players, Doc Rivers also had plenty of good words for Prigioni, who even coined the term of stealing an inbounds pass, “He did the Prigioni”, after Pablo did just that in the preseason opener against the Denver Nuggets:

"“That’s what he does,” Rivers said. “It’s amazing. I guarantee you Mike (Malone) probably said it before the game, just like we said it before all the games in the playoffs, yet he gets you. It’s so neat to watch.“He’s just a joy to have on the team. He can start, back-up, come off the bench, play later, not play. He’s really, him and Paul (Pierce), they’re just so smart. To have them on your team is really good for us.”"

It hasn’t been long, but it’s clear to see that the Clippers have warmed to Prigioni very quickly indeed.

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They certainly aren’t wrong to do so.

Last season, Prigioni consistently maintained good control of the ball on offense as a patient, smart passer. Whether it’s looking for cutting teammates or running the pick-and-roll, he knows what to do in his role as a backup point guard. He averaged 6 assists per 36 minutes, and as for being a pesky defender, he even added 2.4 steals in that time span, too. Which, just to surprise you with how good his peskiness can be, is 0.4 more than Chris Paul.

Even with avoiding costly turnovers, Prigioni has done an excellent job during his short NBA career. Last season, he averaged just 1.3 turnovers per 36 minutes and a turnover percentage of only 16.9 (to add some context to that number, it’s lower than All-Star point guard John Wall).

The rest of the new bench may still be uneasy right now, but when considering those impressive numbers and the high praise of his teammates, Pablo Prigioni looks like a perfect fit with the Clippers already.

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