Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Where Tayshaun Prince ranks as an all-time Piston

To say Tayshaun Prince ranks among all-time great Piston players would be a stretch. It is more like he is in the next tier.
Tayshaun Prince: Will be fondly remembered
He was a good, solid, consistent NBA player for the Pistons for a decade. There were times when he looked like a great player - when the Pistons had terrific teams during a six-year stretch of  making the Eastern Conference finals, and advanced to the NBA Finals twice, winning it with a shocking upset of the Lakers in 2004.
When the Pistons' talent overall waned, so did Prince's reputation as player. He was the last of the "Going to Work" Pistons remaining when he was traded to Memphis recently (Prince returns to The Palace tonight with the Grizzlies for the first time since leaving), but it almost seemed at times like he wasn't still on the team at the end, even if he was still getting significant minutes.
He wasn't Ben Wallace (his acquistion was the biggest reason the Pistons turned into legitimate contenders), or Rasheed Wallace (he was the final piece of the title puzzle) nor Richard Hamilton and Chauncy Billups (they became arguably the best backcourt in the league for an extended span and were amazingly clutch). Prince was the fifth wheel, albeit it very good one. He was an excellent defender, a contributer offensively and played team ball. For the 23rd overall pick in the draft, he presented the Pistons tremendous value.
Prince will undoubtedly receive a warm reception upon his return tonight, and it will be deserved.
The Pistons were the right team at the right time for Prince, and vice versa. However, he wasn't necessarily a differencemaker for the Pistons of that era. The other four starters definitely were.


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