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Tayshaun Prince: Jason Maxiell a victim of teammates’ defensive mistakes

David Mayo of MLive:

Prince pointed to Jason Maxiell, who equaled a career-high with six blocked shots, as a teammate unfairly victimized by poor team defense.

Exhibit A was Danilo Gallinari’s 3-pointer to push Denver’s lead to 96-89, effectively ending the game, when Brandon Knight got switched onto the taller player then tried to switch back with Maxiell while the Nuggets’ power forward was teeing up a decisive blow.

"Max had a terrific game on both ends, especially on the defensive end, but a couple of bad things happened where his man scored and everybody’s looking at Max like, ‘What happened?’" Prince said. "No, it’s not Max’s fault. But that’s just the things that happen when all five guys aren’t on the same page. That’s where the discipline factor comes in."

First of all, Tayshaun Prince is probably right. That gives him plenty of leeway to discuss this topic.

It’s also easy to see why he’d want to stick up for Jason Maxiell. They’re the Pistons’ longest-tenured players and have been through a lot together.

But, given the Pistons’ recent past, it could be a bit alarming Prince would say something like this. Not long ago, there were plenty of reports that the Pistons were a team divided between young and old. Signs of a similar struggle have mostly disappeared, but this might be a warning that it’s creeping back up.

There’s no doubt the Pistons’ young players lack the defensive awareness of Prince and Maxiell, and I’m sure that’s frustrating for those two. It must be especially frustrating when their teammates’ defensive struggles make Prince and Maxiell look bad. Not only is it OK for Prince to discuss that, I appreciate his candor, and his words help us better understand the team’s play – if that’s all he was doing.

But I’d have a big problem if someone the Pistons are paying major money to lead is fueling a locker-room divide. Hopefully, that’s not what’s happening here.


  • Dec 13, 20129:13 am
    by gmehl


    Bafoon soup anyone??

  • Dec 13, 20129:22 am
    by pistonsfan


    the nuggets gaurds scored too much

  • Dec 13, 20129:36 am
    by Birdman84


    Has Prince made any positive comments in the media this season?

  • Dec 13, 201210:05 am
    by Oracle


    Are you guys going to make any reference to the great grantland piece on Chauncey Billups?  It’s a much more interesting read than any of the posts Patrick has made about Dennis Rodman’s latest folly in commercialism.  

    • Dec 13, 201210:07 am
      by revken


      Not necessary to denigrate what the guys on this site do in order to praise the Grantland piece on Billups – which was an excellent read.

    • Dec 13, 201211:00 am
      by Patrick Hayes


      It’s posted. But be careful reading Grantland. They don’t censor swear words either. I know how that offends your delicate sensibilities.

    • Dec 13, 201211:04 am
      by Derek


      Awesome Billups write up on Grantland.  Thanks for the heads up.  I’m loving the pistonpowered game analysis too.

  • Dec 13, 201210:11 am
    by Al


    Frank gets the blame here. Substituions are as predictable as they are stale. No matchup adjustments and leaving struggling players in for to long of stretches with a bench full of potential untapped talent. How many games this season have we seen a hot hand or defensive pressence sit way to long then they needed. That’s a coaches decision. If we have players not doing a job and its affecting the game like as of late, well lets give somebody else a shot. We are not a contending team and therefore we can afford to change our lineups all night. Our what seems to be cemented lineup is not a winning group, this justifies lineup changes when they are needed. I hate to say it, but this is Frank’s mess and he needs to clean it up asap or at least open the door to the broom closet!

  • Dec 13, 201210:41 am
    by Sportshistorytoday


    Pistons 186 Nuggets,184 (Triple Overtime) December 13, 1983, highest scoring NBA game in history.

    Isiah Thomas led the Pistons with 47 points. John Long had 41 and Kelly Tripucka 35. The Nugget’s Kiki Vandeweghe led all scorers with 51 points. Also for The Nuggets, Alex English had 47. Dan Issel “chipped in” 28 points in a losing cause.

    • Dec 13, 20122:19 pm
      by tarsier


      Is this supposed to be at all related?

  • Dec 13, 201211:19 am


    Gallinari’s 3 to put the game away ….. YES it was Knight Fault!

    HOWEVER, Look at the play again….

    The Pistons are jumping from man to man …to 3-2 Zone to 2-3 zone and they are constantly switching…..(as Dan Wrote earlier last year) They chase after the basketball…(BUT NEVER PLAY THE PASSING LANES)..Helter Skelter defense too many times….

    So on that play ….High Pick and Pop play, the Same one they run with Charlie V atleast 5 times a game… the same play they defend and practice day after day, the the same play Denver has been setting up….

    Gallinari ball fakes, Knight chases after the ball….You know the rest….

    But Maybe Maxiell does not need to switch on that play….(Im not saying he was wrong)…but either way its set up a mismatch

    Gallinari is a 6’10 3 point shooter, who has his feet set, Knight at 6’3 would barely even bother than shot….

    The Pistons Defense, is designed to set back and let the opposing offense do what it wants…and Frank just hopes they miss and that the Pistons can rebound…


    Maxiell is a streaky shot blocker…Drummond doesnt play enough, and monroe play defense more like G/F than a PF/C

    alot of these things are easy to fix…. but if you have coach that doesnt trust his players, it will seem like its impossible to make the adjustments

  • Dec 13, 201211:32 am


    (Dan Wrote earlier last week) sorry …

  • Dec 13, 201212:41 pm
    by RalphHau


    Prince is not a very good team player, he doesn’t speak out in the locker room but he is fast to make comments in the media.  I consider Prince to be the “black hole” what goes to him, never comes out.  I have seen him on a fast break with two wings going to the basket and I have yet seen him feed these wings.  He is NOT a 3 point shooter, yet he continues to jack up threes without any intention of moving the ball first to get a better shot.  Drummond stands waiting for a feed, some feed, any feed yet everyone play around him.  Prince needs to quit blaming his teammates because as far as I know, there is no “I” in TEAM!

    • Dec 13, 20121:03 pm
      by I HATE FRANK


      I dont mind his play on the floor this year he has been solid on offense , even reliable.

      He has shoot the 3 ball really good this year….

      But He is NOT A LEADER…how I know? because younger player dont talk about his leadership… they never really have…I mean they might do the cliche “He’s a Team Captain” or ” He leads by Example”

      I remember in Prince, Third year…I thought he was ready to take the steps as an All-Star player….But since then its been like steps back….but some guys just dont have it in thier DNA…

      NO one talk about him taking them under his wing, he is selfish because he want to be a Big fish in a little pond… He kinda reminds me of that guy that graduated 3-4 years ago…but is always in the parking after school with his radio turned up…. Prince is like that with his championship….he has no substance…

      Knight and Prince both went Kentucky…Prince probably thinks he’s better than Knight because he stayed 4 years, and got records at Kentucky no one cares about….

      Prince is not the guy i’d want around younger players….

      • Dec 13, 20121:05 pm
        by rick


        Can you provide some links to back up your claims of thise not happeneing or happeneing. Sounds a bit empty to me. This sounds more like your opinion than actual fact. Just saying……smh

        • Dec 13, 20124:13 pm
          by rick


          To the mods(Dan/Patrick) I was actually talking to I Hate Frank,lol. Not that I don’t mind, butmy actual critique was in response to his post. I know you guys provide the facts but it was more or less about his critique and not yours.

          • Dec 13, 201210:36 pm
            by I HATE FRANK

            What facts do you need?

            I said you dont hear the younger players on the team calling Tayshaun a mentor or a leader? Even with the Links Dan shared, its Tayshaun tooting his own horn…

            I’ve been a life long Pistons fan…and I use to believe Prince was going to become a perennial all-star

            But Prince has never taken the next step in his game, when he had a chance to be the man on this team, he couldn’t or wouldn’t do it… Now there’s a youth movement, he always has something to say about the youth… 

            This summer Drummond said all of the players either called or texted him, then they asked about Tayshaun, he said…something like I havent heard from him yet, but Im sure I will soon…(If that is accurate or inaccurate maybe dan or patrick can look that up)…

            He is not a leader, he is a very good career role player,,, im not knocking his production… and I didnt say the younger players have openly complained about Prince… I said “I HAVENT” read or heard any of the younger players call him a leader, mentor, role model…. 

  • Dec 13, 20121:03 pm
    by rick


    Seriously? You really think he is wrong for stating the obvious. Has nothing to do with young or old. When a vet says something you pay attention, especially one who has championship mettle. Stop rehashing old arguments to make it seem like Prince is a perpetual complainer.

    • Dec 13, 20121:39 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      He is kind of a perpetual complainer though. Doesn’t mean his complaints are wrong, but the dude frequently expresses his displeasure with things in the media.

      • Dec 13, 20127:48 pm
        by gmehl


        Kinda like Laser used to…hey Patrick

  • Dec 13, 20122:16 pm
    by frankie d


    the team has a toxic mix that manifests itself in comments like this from tay.
    and, keep in mind, this is hardly the first time he’s said something of this sort.
    i think dumars has the whole leadership thing fundamentally wrong.
    he argues that tay brings a needed leadership presence, but tay is the wrong person to fill that role on this type of team.  maybe on a contending team with more vets, but with a young team he clearly does not have the patience necessary.
    one of the young players should be able to step up and fill a leadership void, but as long as tay is there, that young player will never have the room to step up and become a leader. 
    who is that young player?
    my own belief is that english could fill that role, and that is one of the biggest reasons to try to get him into the rotation.
    i formerly believed that afflalo was essentially in the same position when he was here.  he was a guy with clear leadership capabilities, but dumars did not value that quality and ultimately donated him to the nuggets like someone in a hurry to  move dumps a load of their possessions at the goodwill drop box.
    this is another clear indication of why tay should not even be on the roster.
    his presence prevents younger players from assuming leadership and it prevents younger players who could be leaders from even getting on the court.
    it seems like dumars just doesn’t get it.

  • Dec 13, 20125:06 pm
    by apa8ren9


    I think its just Tayshaun keepin it real.  He is just answering the questions with a bit of frustration on top.  He does this all the time, it doesnt mean he isnt helping or trying to give the young players players some guidance.   Some dudes are just more blunt than others and it shows up sometimes with not so “PC” answers. 

    • Dec 14, 201211:33 am
      by rick


      These guys want the players to be coddled. I could see if Tay was say for instance Ron Artest, then yeah I would consider the source,but he has won on every level. Plus the guys he is mentoring have in some cases only 1year of college experience. So explain why he cannot complain when his resume says otherwise? At least he has more experience than the coach who seems to not have a clue.

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