Here’s what Larry Drew had to say today about Jannero Pargo, who was officially signed and immediately designated the backup to Jeff Teague:
“Very similar to Jeff, he’s a point guard who can score. But the experience itself is very valuable.”
In my assessment of Pargo last night, I didn’t note that he does have a pretty good scoring rate. In fact, his per-36 minute scoring averages over the last five seasons are comparable to what Jamal Crawford provided last season.
And in the context of the Hawks, Pargo’s experience is valuable. It was not feasible to start the season with one of Pape Sy, Donald Sloan or Brad Wanamaker as the backup point guard, especially since the schedule is so demanding. So adding a veteran, even a marginal one, provides some stability for the Hawks.
But if the goal was to add some scoring punch to the bench on the cheap, the Hawks got a scorer who is less efficient than Jamal because he doesn’t shoot as well and doesn’t get to the line as often. As John Hollinger wrote in his assessment of Pargo (Insider): “He can be useful if a team is desperate enough for shot creating that it doesn’t really care so much about the accuracy of said shots.”
Pargo’s career turnover and assist rates are also lower than Jamal’s. Pargo does represent an upgrade defensively and is a better rebounder (even at his size) but that was going to happen with most replacements. I guess Pargo can help with Drew’s plan to be a more energetic defensive team but he’s too small to play the two on any kind of regular basis.
In any event, we’ll see what Pargo can do on this team. He sounded enthusiastic about getting his next chance with a good squad.
“Kirk [Hinrich] is out so you need somebody that can come in and spell Teague a few minutes here and there and help that second unit not drop off as much from the starters,” he said. “I think I’m a guy that can come in and provide energy, defensive effort and hopefully help win some games.”
Pargo said his experience should help him quickly learn Atlanta’s offensive and defensive systems. He got a crash course on the offense today and so far likes what he sees: “Great stuff. A lot of passing, moving, cutting, backdoor. I think it’s a great offense so hopefully I learn it pretty quickly and get acclimated here.”
Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat