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The Pistons can finally afford to give Tayshaun Prince some rest

Many Pistons fans, myself included, have been hard on Tayshaun Prince the last couple seasons for his penchant to bog down the offense in isolations (or Isolayshauns). That’s not totally fair, though. Bad teams often force players to try and do too much, and that is the position Prince found himself caught in with the Pistons of the last three seasons. He’s more productive as a third or fourth option, but out of necessity, he became a first or second option. He did the best he could in those circumstances.

In today’s Detroit Free Press column, though, I wrote about how the Pistons might finally have enough talent heading into next season that they can comfortably reduce Prince’s role, get more opportunities for their developing All-Star Greg Monroe and also keep Prince more rested:

Prince, despite his slight frame, has been one of the most durable players in the NBA during the era in which he’s played. But he’s also getting older. The Pistons also have multiple capable backups, including Corey Maggette, an effective player if healthy, who can give him more rest than he’s accustomed to this season. Prince was more efficient offensively when he was asked to do less and better able to take advantage of his versatility. The Pistons have young players capable and hungry for larger roles. They’ve also invested in Prince for three more seasons. All of those factors should cause the team too consider a slightly reduced role for him this season. That’s not an insult to anything he’s accomplished in his career. Asking players to do too much is a trademark of most bad teams. The Pistons are finally in a position where they no longer have to do that with Prince, and that’s a great sign that the team is finally starting to make some positive progress.

18 Comments

  • Aug 10, 20129:18 am
    by labatts

    Reply

    “Isolayshauns”.  LOL.  You have to trademark that.

    • Aug 10, 20129:24 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Honestly, the first place I saw it was Detroit Bad Boys comments and posts, but then a few of our commenters (who I assume are also DBB commenters) started using it here too. I wish I knew who the originator was so I could give proper credit, but I’ve seen multiple writers/commenters using it over the last year or so.

      Maybe a DBB guy will read this and give the originator of it his/her due.

      • Aug 10, 20129:46 am
        by Birdman84

        Reply

        Kriz of DBB was the first to come up with “Isolayshuan”, back in February of 2011.

        Tayshaun’s minutes should have been reduced years ago. There’s a perfectly good backup small forward by the name of Jonas Jerebko who’s been on the roster for a little while now.

        • Aug 10, 20129:52 am
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          Mystery solved. And yeah, I agree with you. Before Jerebko, there was a perfectly good small forward named Carlos Delfino capable of playing some of those minutes. Then Afflalo. Then Jerebko.

          I don’t think we’ll see a hugely reduced role for Prince based on the history here, but hopefully, it has become more clear by now that it is in his and the team’s best interest to reduce his role and give more responsibility to younger, more productive players.

          • Aug 12, 20123:37 pm
            by Max

            Not sure if any one of the players you named is truly a small forward; and, in every case, I would lean to another position.

        • Aug 10, 20129:56 am
          by Vic

          Reply

          Totally agree with you on that one, but remember he was injured for one year, and the years that he wasn’t injured we had very weak power forward options.

      • Aug 10, 20124:46 pm
        by andyf

        Reply

        D

  • Aug 10, 20129:52 am
    by Vic

    Reply

    Yeah I agree, Tejon potentially could be the perfect bridge from the championship level Pistons to the dysfunctional Pistons to the new championship level Pistons. The “Goin To Class” Pistons lol.
    But only if he lets some the Goin to Class guys ie knight, stuck, moose learn to dominate the shooting this year. He can also help to groom and be an example to the next kind of small forwards Jerebko and Middleton

  • Aug 10, 201210:28 am
    by sebastian

    Reply

    I say on August 26 on shortly thereafter (when Maggette can be moved per CBA rules), Joe should move Tay and CM to Memphis for Rudy Gay.

    • Aug 10, 201212:34 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      If Memphis really wanted to move Gay, which I’m not convinced they do, they could do way better than that.

      • Aug 10, 20121:22 pm
        by sebastian

        Reply

        But, Patrick a trade of Tay and and Maggette will provide the Grizzs with veteran play at the SF position in the interim and cap-relief in the future.

        WE, on the other hand, get a top 10 SF, who can run with OUR young cast of players.

        I do believe, though, that Maggette is going to used as a trade piece, shortly after Aug. 26, in some capacity.

        • Aug 10, 20121:35 pm
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          The Pistons aren’t the only team who could offer Memphis salary relief with a big expiring contract. If Memphis legitimately shopped Gay, they would get expiring contracts and good young players or picks in return. They wouldn’t be taking on three more years of salary to a limited, old SF. They could do much better. Gay is expensive, but he’s a good player and still relatively young.

          • Aug 10, 20122:16 pm
            by Crispus

            The sentence “If Memphis legitimately shopped Gay” conjured a hilarious mental image of Mike Conley and Marc Gasol trying on tight pants, designer sunglasses and feather boas.

  • Aug 10, 20122:40 pm
    by Nick S.

    Reply

    Yea, remember when Dumars extended that “limited old SF” he said it was a good move because he’s an asset, well look how that asset is paying off now.

  • Aug 10, 20123:30 pm
    by gordbrown

    Reply

    Even back as long ago as Sanders, Prince logged a terrific (or terrible) number of minutes through the regular season to the point that it actually hurt his performance in the playoffs at very opportune times (usually against Lebron and Cleveland). I know this is more about shots and offensive flow, but I think these are somewhat related issues. Also I think Prince looked worse last year than he might have been but for the fact he played the start of the season on one leg. Personally I much prefer a Prince who gets out and runs and can help the team pick up the pace. Hopefully we’ll see more of that this coming season than we’ve seen the last three.

    • Aug 10, 20123:31 pm
      by gordbrown

      Reply

      Oops, that should read “inopportune” times.
       

  • Aug 12, 20123:35 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    The last time Prince had a good backup the Pistons won the championship with Corliss Williamson.   The ragtag collection of hopefuls and out of position players they’ve been trying to fill the spot with since has been running one of the most endurable players of all time into the ground and has been forcing him to play too many minutes to play his best.   I’ve thought they had finally filled the spot before but I’m hopeful once again.

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