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Tayshaun Prince expects to remain the Pistons’ starting small forward

The Pistons are overflowing with options at the small forward position, including an established veteran in Corey Maggette who, if healthy, is capable of being a productive, starting caliber player. That has been a rarity during Tayshaun Prince‘s tenure as a Piston — he’s been the best option at that position essentially since he broke into the lineup late in his rookie season.

But despite the increased competition, Prince still expects to be the starter. From Terry Foster of The Detroit News:

He tried the leadership thing last season but it didn’t always work out. The Pistons dug themselves a 4-20 hole and never fully recovered in a lockout-shortened year.

“I am here to play basketball whether it is to be a leader or whatever,” Prince said. “That is something I am willing to do and help out with.

“I am here to remain a starter of course. I don’t plan on coming off the bench.”

There has been no indication that Lawrence Frank planned anything but using Prince as a starter. But considering the fiasco when Prince’s former teammate and friend Rip Hamilton was asked to not be a starter anymore, Frank would probably be wise to heed that advice and keep Prince in the starting lineup as long as he’s reasonably productive.

32 Comments

  • Oct 2, 201210:38 am
    by Guus

    Reply

    Another reason why I think Tay should be traded… If possible ofcourse. He clearly is not on the same page with Frank’s anti-incumbency policy. Like you say, Magette (if healthy) is equally qualified to start: I wish I heard Tay speak more along the lines of: “whatever coach wants me to do, I’ll do.”

    Don’t get me wrong, I’ll always love Tay for what he’s meant for us (i.e.: Tays block of Reggie!), but I think rit would be best for all parties involved if Tay were chasing another ring with a contender, at the same time making room for our glut of SF’s, while also potentially creating a roster spot for Big Ben.

    Whatever happens, I can’t wait for Pistons Basketball to begin!

    Regards,

    Guus, Netherlands 
     

  • Oct 2, 201212:17 pm
    by RyanK

    Reply

    “But considering the fiasco when Prince’s former teammate and friend Rip Hamilton was asked to not be a starter anymore, Frank would probably be wise to heed that advice and keep Prince in the starting lineup as long as he’s reasonably productive.”
     
    I couldn’t disagree more.  If Tay starts to create a problem because someone else is a better option starting at SF you send Tay home until he’s traded.  The last thing a team needs is a guy who thinks he’s entitled or an incumbent to quote Frank. 
     
    Tay was the only player on the team who didn’t take part in the summer workouts/scrimmages.  In my book he waives all rights to be a leader, to be a starter, or even to remain on the team.  He’s only there for a paycheck…has no concern for what’s best for the team.  Tay is a trade chip and he should be thought of that way from now on…nothing is owed to him.

    • Oct 2, 201212:24 pm
      by RyanK

      Reply

      Piston to royalty…Billups’ influence is still ingrained in the team culture as long as you have anyone around who thinks this way.  Tay needs to be moved ASAP…he’s a negative influence we’d be better off without long-term.

    • Oct 2, 201212:36 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Personally, my preference would be just to see him traded. He’s aging, limited and they have other options, including one who, if healthy, is likely better than Prince in Maggette.

      But as we’ve seen around here, trades barely happen in Detroit anymore. So if you’re stuck with him on the roster, I think they have to be very careful about causing a disruption. If Frank wants to bench him in favor of someone else, and has the confidence that if Prince doesn’t accept the new role, Dumars will deal with it and eliminate the problem, that’s one thing. But I’m not confident that would be the case. Hamilton’s unhappiness completely derailed the locker room for two+ seasons. The Pistons aren’t far removed from that experience and they have even more impressionable young players than they did when Hamilton was here. I’m OK with Prince starting if it keeps things harmonious, and Maggette has played in a sixth man role before anyway. I think reading between the lines of Prince’s comments, he’d be very unhappy if he wasn’t starting and that’s probably not something the Pistons should mess with, at least not yet.

      • Oct 2, 20125:33 pm
        by labatts

        Reply

        Also, don’t forget that Tayshaun obviously has dirt on Dumars.  This is the only plausible reason that he was resigned in the first place.  So knowing that he forced Dumars to resign him, it isn’t much of a stretch to assume that Tayshaun controls the starting lineup, too.

        • Oct 3, 20128:23 am
          by tarsier

          Reply

          Right cuz Dumars only makes stupid moves when blackmailed. What dirt did BG and CV have on him? What about Afflalo or Denver or whoever made that happen?

          • Oct 3, 20124:36 pm
            by Max

            @labatts…..you should try being a fan of another team because you must be too spoiled to properly assess anyone’s character.  Dumars and Prince are about as unassailable in terms of characters as NBA people get.  When has anyone on the inside had a bad word to say about Dumars as a person during his entire career?  All your doing is making a bullshit, totally unsubstantiated speculation.   It would be like if an Orlando fan didn’t like Jameer Nelson’s signing (one that makes no sense whatsoever to me) and said Nelson must have some dirt on the owner.  I wish Prince and Dumars could see you in court and sue you for defamation.  

            All this nonsense about Prince from Pistons fan is disturbing but at least I know that every time I hear a venerable coach, general manager or even media person talk about him that they will just gush about his character, knowledge of the game and willingness to play the right way.

          • Oct 3, 20125:03 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            @Max:

            Prince is all the things you say — smart, consistent, competent rotation player on any team in the league, etc. He’s also been moody, introverted (notice his media day quotes suggesting he’s still working on the ‘leadership’ thing) and when all of his teammates were working out together in Detroit during the summer, he was working out at home.

            None of that makes him a bad person or teammate, of course, but your efforts to turn any player who wears a Pistons jersey into a saint are about the most annoying thing about reading the comments section.

          • Oct 4, 20124:11 pm
            by Max

            Who have I spent much time defending here other than Prince, Stuckey and Isiah?  And when did I ever assert anything about Stuckey or Isiah’s character to make them out like saints.   As for Dumars, the NBA named the sportsmanship award after him.   As for Prince, what exactly is wrong with being introverted or even moody?   Prince is never satisfied if he thinks the team can do better and was the same way when everyone was loving him and the Pistons were great. 

          • Oct 4, 20124:52 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            You are ridiculously defensive about even the slightest criticisms of any player on the roster from any era and even mild or perceived criticisms of the team in general.

          • Oct 4, 20129:19 pm
            by Max

            Please, I’m defending the validity of Prince keeping his starting job, he’s going to start and you’re crazy if you disagree with that at least.  
            I get really defensive about the total bullshit attacks on Prince, Thomas, Dumars, Laimbeer and Stuckey and and accept the justified attacks on Thomas and Rodman and that’s about it.  Find me a single good word I ever had to say about Charlie V, Ben Gordon, Mark Aguirre, Bison Dele, Ron Rothstein, Austin Daye, Coach Q, Michael Curry or even Flip Saunders. 

  • Oct 2, 20121:31 pm
    by Michael Houghton

    Reply

    I think as much as I have enjoyed Prince over the years it is simply time for him to go.  Whatever happened to Frank’s matra about everything has to be earned there are no guarantee starters until you earned it.  It seems Prince has already penciled himself in as a starter without so much as one practice yet.  I didn’t hear Prince once say he will do whatever it takes or whatever the coach think is best for the team.  That in my opinion is selfishness at the highest regard.  Most of the team has put in countless hours of summer camp, training, and hard work.  You just have to reward the best athelete, hardest worker, and if that is not Prince he should accept that without causing further problems in the locker room.  This is a new year and Prince is a year older and a step slower and you can’t dictate what is your value on the team simply based on past history.  Players like Prince are the ones that are unhappy and cause harm to the team aspect and what you are trying to accomplish as a team.  Joe Dumars it is time for you to earn your money and start making the hard decisions for the betterment of the team. 

  • Oct 2, 20122:01 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    This is all nonsense.  The Pistons may have more options at the the three but none of them make any logical sense to even threaten to start over Prince so why wouldn’t he expect to start?  This talk of what Maggette is if he is healthy is patently absurd because he is rarely healthy and there is no benefit to exposing a player like him to more minutes than his fragile body can handle or to risking the lack of stability that comes from having an injury-waiting-to-happen in the starting lineup.  The notion that Maggette is better than Prince is highly suspect in general but his tendency to get injured makes him a clearly worse option to start.    Further, here are the things he doesn’t do as well as Prince:  handle the ball, pass the ball, block shots, shoot the three and score in the post.  People complained about Prince’s shooting pct last year after his great year the year before but Maggette shot 37 percent last year.   I think anyone making the claim that Maggette is even possibly better are just allowing their emotions to underrate him and overrate Maggette by default.   Forgetting Prince’s ego or any considerations of mental health or chemistry, Frank would still be utterly foolish to think of starting anyone but Prince so why is anyone complaining that Prince wants to start?  The detractors are silly because every coach in the league would start Prince on this team without even considering anyone else. 

    • Oct 2, 20122:04 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      So when Lawrence Frank says things like, ‘starting spots/roles have to be earned,’ that should apply to everyone but Prince? OK. Got it.

      • Oct 2, 20127:44 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        It’s fine for him to say that but everyone knows Monroe at least will start.   Knight, Stuckey and Prince are secure too and the reason is as simple as no one is nearly good enough to make a case at any of their spots. 

        • Oct 2, 20129:43 pm
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          Prince was not good last season man. Not be a longshot. Maybe he’ll be better if his teammates are better this year and he’s not asked to do as much. But Jerebko getting a big chunk of his minutes last season certainly wouldn’t have hurt the team at all. And Jerebko/Maggette getting a big chunk this year wouldn’t hurt them either. I wouldn’t argue they should cast him aside for Daye/Middleton/Singler or anything like that, but I think you could make a strong case that the off-ball movement/activity/speed of Jerebko or the slashing of Maggette actually are better fits in the starting lineup. Stuckey and Knight are both better passers in transition or on the move, Monroe is great and finding cutters and Prince doesn’t move without the ball all that much at this point in his career.

          Prince as a point forward on the second unit who still plays a significant role and essentially becomes the de facto backup point guard makes some sense.

          • Oct 3, 20124:19 pm
            by Max

            Prince isn’t a great 3 point shooter but he’s better than Maggette and is probably better than Jerebko.  More importantly though, the Pistons were woeful at not turning over the ball last season and Prince is an all time great in that category so I don’t get your argument at all that Maggette or Jerebko would be a better fit in the starting lineup.  Further, Prince has a lot of value that they don’t in terms of finding cutters as with the pet play he was running with Knight to get him alleyoops last year.   Also, Maggette had a much worse last couple of years than Prince. 

          • Oct 3, 20125:16 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            “Prince isn’t a great 3 point shooter but he’s better than Maggette and is probably better than Jerebko.”

            If he were satisfied being a spot up shooter and guy who runs the floor, moves without the ball and settles in as a fourth option, I’d jump for joy to have him in the starting lineup. That hasn’t been the case for about four years, though. He dominates the ball. He’s not a great entry passer into the post (there are several instances on game film last year of him either missing Monroe in the post or delivering entry passes way too late). He bogs down the offense by over-dribbling. He settles for too many contested long 2s, which is the most awful shot in basketball.

            The turnover thing … whatever. Rodney Stuckey doesn’t turn the ball over that much. Put the ball in his hands.

            If the Tayshaun Prince who was a reliable fourth option on contending teams returns, I’d love to see that guy in this starting lineup. If he wants to play like the Tayshaun Prince who fancies himself the focal point of the offense? He’d be much better off the bench in that role.

            Honestly, my issue isn’t whether or not he starts. My issue is he touches the ball way to damned much.

            “I don’t get your argument at all that Maggette or Jerebko would be a better fit in the starting lineup.”

            You don’t get my argument? It’s pretty straightforward. Jerebko runs the floor and cuts and gets offensive rebounds. The Stuckey/Knight tandem is much better in transition than in the halfcourt, they’re much better passers on the move and when other players are on the move and Jerebko compliments those skills better than Prince. I don’t think Jerebko is necessarily better than Prince. But I do damn sure think Jerebko on the court more with Stuckey, Knight and Monroe would help all of those players.

            As for Maggette, if he’s healthy enough to handle a starter’s workload, imagine trying to guard he and Stuckey on the perimeter with as often as they get to the line? Having him and Stuckey in the game to start games would give the Pistons a good chance to put the other team in foul trouble early. Prince, who almost never gets to the line or draws contact, doesn’t give them that chance.

            Am I saying necessarily that either guy should start over Prince? No. Am I saying you’re ridiculous to suggest that there is no one on the roster who could have a legit case to start over him? Yes, yes you are ridiculous.

            “Prince has a lot of value that they don’t in terms of finding cutters as with the pet play he was running with Knight to get him alleyoops last year.”

            I never said there weren’t things Prince doesn’t do well. He has skills he brings to the table. I’m just saying, again, that he doesn’t necessarily help the team more as a starter than he would as the first sub off the bench who plays a variety of roles.

            “Also, Maggette had a much worse last couple of years than Prince.”

            Have I not said ‘if healthy’ in like every Maggette-related comment I’ve made? If Maggette isn’t healthy, then he’s not in the discussion. If he is healthy and has a good camp, than he should get consideration to start.

            Prince has had a fine career with the Pistons, but it’s fair to say he had a bad season last year, it’s fair to say he’s getting older and it’s fair to say the team could benefit by him playing a different role or having a lighter workload. None of those things are out of the question or attacking someone’s character or anything like that. 

          • Oct 4, 20124:18 pm
            by Max

            Your whole diatribe stinks of blaming Prince and making him the scapegoat for his teammates inadequacies—how’s that for making every player who wears the uniform a saint since I’m taking them all to task.   Prince shot less when there were players on the team who should have clearly shot the ball more.  During the last few years, it has been an open question as to who should shoot the ball and Prince has had to step up as a veteran due to a vacuum.  The notion that it has been all about Prince’s desires ignores the facts because he has not been in a situation where no one else has been ready willing and able to step up.  Has Prince looked his best in such circumstance?  Of course he has not but he is nothing like a ball hog.   

          • Oct 4, 20124:58 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            “Your whole diatribe stinks of blaming Prince and making him the scapegoat for his teammates inadequacies”

            Nope. Never once said he’s to blame. He’s just not a fit. There’s a difference. If this were a veteran team in need of a steady third or fourth option, he’d be the guy. For a young rebuilding team trying to develop a go-to player in Monroe, he’s not a fit. Simple as that.

            “Prince shot less when there were players on the team who should have clearly shot the ball more.”

            So Prince should shoot the ball more than Monroe? Explain how that makes any kind of reasonable sense.

            “During the last few years, it has been an open question as to who should shoot the ball and Prince has had to step up as a veteran due to a vacuum.”

            Uh … it’s not an open question. Monroe was clearly, clearly, clearly their best offensive player last season. There was no ‘open question’ about it.

            Also, Stuckey should get more touches than Prince. When Stuckey gets touches, he draws fouls. When Prince gets touches, he shoots a lot of contested long 2s.

            “The notion that it has been all about Prince’s desires ignores the facts because he has not been in a situation where no one else has been ready willing and able to step up.”

            Monroe. Monroe. Monroe. He’s light years better offensively right now than Prince ever was.

            “Of course he has not but he is nothing like a ball hog.”

            I never used that word. But he is a ball-stopper, he over-dribbles a lot and he doesn’t create well for others for someone who does have the ball in his hands a lot. Label that whatever you will, but the evidence is right there on the game film.

          • Oct 5, 20123:50 am
            by Max

            Prince didn’t shoot more often than Monroe or Stuckey last season–he just played more minutes and it’s not Prince’s fault that Monroe gets tired.    You pointed out that Stuckey gets to the line a lot more than Prince—well that represents Stuckey touching the ball and includes shots where he was fouled that don’t count as shots and this applies to Monroe too.    Last season, five Pistons took an amazingly equal number of shots per minute and Prince was just one of them but the free throws would suggest that Stuckey and Monroe took a lot more shots per minute. 

            And when you quote me, you misinterpret as often as not.   When I was speaking about Prince’s desires and no one else stepping up, I meant that the other players failing to shoot well and take care of the ball contributes to the team’s philosophy of running plays to get Prince shots.  If Ben Gordon had hit threes in Detroit like he did in Chicago, you can be sure that Prince and everyone else not named Monroe would have shot less.  When a player a team is counting on to score at high volume and efficiency plays horribly, it burdens the rest of the players by asking them to pick up the slack.    
            Your Monroe, Monroe, Monroe rant is beyond childish.   It’s not Prince’s fault that coach Q didn’t run any plays for Monroe his whole rookie season and again, it’s not Prince’s fault that Monroe took as many shots as he apparently could last season since he frequently asked to have a blow.   I have little doubt that aside from foul trouble, Frank would have played Monroe 5-10 minutes more a game if he could have handled it and then we aren’t even having this conversation because Monroe would have taken a lot more shots on top of shooting a lot more free throws than Prince.   For someone who has been defending advanced stats so vigorously, why are you hanging so much on the fact that Prince led the team in shots last year when he clearly wasn’t the player shooting most often if you just use common sense?
             
            The whole way you broke down my comments is so dishonest and employs something you’ve ascribed to me in the past so you are probably just projecting.   When I said it has been an open question as to who should shoot, I didn’t say anything about whether he should shoot more than Monroe.   A team needs to score around 90-100 points or more to win most games and any team is going to have to find multiple players to reach that mark.  The open question regards how the team is going to consistently do so and Prince, whether you think he should have shot 12.7 or his career average 11.2 shots a game, was an obvious player to go to try and get enough points to win games and was going to be a big part of the equation.   He shot 12.7 shots a game last year and shot 12.8 the season before and shot fairly poorly last season but had a great percentage the year before and even bested Dwight Howard to the lead the league in terms of shooting pct in the paint. 
            It seems like your real arguments are to suggest that veterans can’t mesh well with young players and that Prince can’t or won’t accept fewer shots a game and see no support in your comments or history to substantiate those claims.    And I’m not putting arguments in your mouth but just trying to figure out what you are saying when you make points like, “he’s not a fit, simple as that” while speaking in those terms.  
            It’s really funny actually…….you start of by saying that you are only making the argument that Maggette or Jerebko could be a better fit but you wind up frothing at the mouth and saying things like Prince can’t fit.   Well, I can’t even count the number of times that true basketball minds have said of Prince that he could fit well with any team.
             
             

    • Oct 3, 20128:26 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Maggette’s FG% is less relevant than his EFG% because getting to the line is his thing. That’s what he does.

      I don’t know which of the two is better at this point. But I, like many Pistons fans, am quite tired of Prince’s apparent me-first attitude.

      • Oct 3, 20124:20 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        But Maggette was 37 percent and has been much more of a me first player his whole career.  He’s played a long time and when did he ever prove he could be part of a cohesive unit with anyone?

        • Oct 3, 20126:37 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          I, like Patrick, am certainly not saying that Maggette is a slam dunk over Prince even if healthy. Just that he is in the conversation. And I also don’t think Prince is a bad player or bad guy. I do think that he is a bad fit for this team.

  • Oct 2, 20123:31 pm
    by T Mc

    Reply

    Let’s be real on any other team Maggette would start over Tay easily. He seems to think he’s bigger than the team. I mean really he’s been playing 30+ minutes for years and can only average 12-14 PTs a game. I believe if Daye was given that chance he would produce better #’s.

    I could really see Jflynn & Twill outplaying many of the pistons. In a truly fair camp they would be pistons easily.

    It’s so odd to me alot of people on here don’t like or can recognize real talent/game.
    Like for example in a 4 on 4 game excluding our centers Flynn,Twill,CV,Daye. Would destroy anything combo of the remaining pistons. Yet they are looked at as inferior it’s just ridiculous to me.

    • Oct 2, 20125:37 pm
      by labatts

      Reply

      really?

    • Oct 2, 20126:30 pm
      by apa8ren9

      Reply

      @ T Mc
      This has to be sarcasm right?  You forgot the /s tag.
       

  • Oct 2, 20124:01 pm
    by T Mc

    Reply

    For us to be 1 of the worst teams in the league we led the NBA in bench scoring. That tells me the wrong players are starting!

    • Oct 3, 20128:31 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Philly far and away led the league in bench scoring.

      • Oct 3, 20124:43 pm
        by T Mc

        Reply

        My bad that was 2011 we did.

        But Tay did led us in FGA to produce poor numbers with MAJOR MINUTES!!

  • Oct 2, 20124:03 pm
    by Pratik

    Reply

    I think that Prince’s comments are being misinterpreted a bit here….although I agree with almost everyone. But as a player who has started the last 6-7 seasons…he expects himself to be a starter. I think that’s fair..he never said that he doesn’t have to try to earn his spot as a starter. It’s just his personal goal to be a starter on this team, and he’s not here in the NBA to come off the bench, after winning a championship and having some great years in the past. However, if there is a player who is challenging Prince on a daily basis and perhaps plays better with the 4 other starters, then he shouldn’t have a negative attitude and get in the way. And that’s what most people are worried about. But you can’t just have new rookies come in who haven’t played a single NBA game take over, or Correy Maggette start who doesn’t know a thing about Frank’s coaching style or the culture here in Detroit. I expect to see someone else transition into Tay’s spot, and threaten to steal that spot in training camp, plus throughout the season. There has been no talk about Jonas Jerebko at the 3, which kind of saddens me a bit, because I don’t think he’s capable of playing the 4 in the NBA. With a improved jumper and quickness that he’s worked on, he should find some time at the 3 along with Kyle Singler. Maggette will fill in at 2 and 3 for Stuckey and Tay. Giving us 4 different options at the 3, and I haven’t even mentioned Austin Daye yet…oh wait Coach Frank expects him to play 4 this season :/

  • Oct 2, 20126:37 pm
    by apa8ren9

    Reply

    Of course Prince doesnt plan on coming off the bench.  He the best SF they have on the roster in his mind.  Hell, what basketball player doesnt believe he is a starter?
    I am a defender of Prince most of the time and this is just athlete speak.  Over the course of the year if one of the younger guys gets better they will get more time.  They wont start.  But they will get increased minutes.  If they play well enough to impact games on a nightly basis then Prince will either be moved or he will have to accept a lesser role its just that simple. But it will be clear cut and obvious for all to see, kind of like when Prince replaced Micheal Curry when he was a rookie.

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