The New York Knicks lost by 20 to the Hawks at home on November 16th. The Knicks got even by beating the Hawks 111-106 at home on Saturday night.
The Knicks forced 27 turnovers by the Hawks. That is the most turnovers forced in the NBA this year.
Carmelo Anthony scored 35 points and Andrea Bargnani chipped in with 23, but the Knicks got a big boost from their starting point guard Pablo Prigioni.
Prigioni played 31 minutes and had 11 points, 6 assists, and 4 steals. He was a catalyst for the Knicks 8-0 run in the fourth quarter to put the Hawks away for good. Prigioni hit a three and had a steal for a layup during the run. Prigioni also found a rhythm with Andrea Bargnani in the pick and roll game.
The Knicks have struggled to get consistent guard play this season. Raymond Felton struggled — partly due to injury — early in the season before being shut down for 2-3 weeks to nurse his injured hamstring.
When Prigioni is in the game the Knicks always seem to show a concerted effort to move the ball. Prigioni rarely forces shots — many times he passes them up — but he has the ability to hit open threes.
The second year guard has not been a stellar defender this season, but he tends to come up with a crucial steal or defensive play in crunch time.
Prigioni and Beno Udrih will have to man the point guard position with Felton out and, the little used Toure Murry, as the only other point guard on the roster. Prigioni showed tonight that he is a capable replacement for Felton.
J.R. Smith continued his struggles tonight after getting the start. He went 1-8 and scored 2 points. In something that is rarely seen, Smith was benched for the entire 4th quarter. Smith was frustrated with himself after the game.
Tim Hardaway Jr. stepped up in Smith’s absence and scored 13 points on 5-10 shooting. Iman Shumpert only scored 3 points but he was a +25 in 33 minutes.
The Knicks will get an off day, after playing 4 games in 5 days, and take on the Washington Wizards in a home game Monday. It will be interesting to see if the Knicks make a trade for Kyle Lowry by then, but if not, Pablo Prigioni showed he is more than capable of running the team.