Man, the Knicks' only goal for last night's meaningless game against the Hawks was to avoid getting hurt. With so many guys resting, though, and so few players to inherit the leftover minutes, it seemed like folks were bound to run into trouble. Oddly enough, New York's most major injury didn't come from overwork, but from a mere misstep. Pablo Prigioni turned his right ankle in the first half. Though he walked off under his own power, the Knicks have deemed the injury a sprain and are listing him as questionable for Saturday's Game 1 on Saturday against the Celtics.
Pablo, for his part, posted this:
Gracias a todos por los mensajes de apoyo!! Espero estar listo para ayudar al equipo pronto!!— Pablo Prigioni (@PPrigioni9) April 18, 2013
("Thank you to everyone for the messages of support. I hope to be ready to help the team soon." I'd feel more optimistic if he'd used upside-down exclamation points.)
Missing Pablo for any amount of time would lose the Knicks some pick-and-roll creation, perimeter defense/turnover-forcing, and shooting. It's not as if they don't have recourse, though. Jason Kidd hopefully won't have to play big minutes, but he can step into Prigion's starting role to recreate this season's original point guard tandem with Raymond Felton. Meanwhile, Iman Shumpert has done a bit more ball-handling (out of necessity) in recent games and hasn't looked half bad (more like...I dunno, 40 percent bad) in that role. Quentin Richardson's now around to sop up any leftover two-guard minutes and you know J.R. Smith's always ready to play 48.
So, if Pablo's limited or absent, the Knicks should be okay. They'll just miss his offensive creativity, defensive guile, and his sneaks. Oh, those sneaks. I can't imagine a Knick playoff victory without at least one or two sneaks.