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Prince’s miracle block helps to even series

You thought the Pistons missed the playoffs? Not at PistonPowered. We’re honoring the 10th anniversary of the 2004 NBA championship team by examining each postseason game on the corresponding 2014 date. We’ll look back at Detroit’s performances, detail our memories of that time and provide insight from the players and coaches who were Goin’ to Work every single night. So, stick with us this “offseason.” I have a hunch these Pistons will be playing into June.

Detroit Pistons 72 Final Recap | Box Score 67 Indiana Pacers
Chauncey Billups, PG 39 MIN | 1-7 FG | 4-4 FT | 5 REB | 6 AST | 5 STL | 1 BLK | 5 TO | 6 PTSBillups had another rough outing offensively.
Richard Hamilton, SG 38 MIN | 8-14 FG | 7-8 FT | 8 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 23 PTSApart from Rip, the Pistons shot 15-52, or less than 30%. They needed every point he gave them.

Tayshaun Prince, SF 36 MIN | 2-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 4 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTSPrince was a beast on defense all night, making the game a nightmare for Artest. But, of course, his real highlight was the game saving block on Reggie Miller.

Rasheed Wallace, PF 37 MIN | 4-19 FG | 2-2 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 5 BLK | 1 TO | 10 PTSRasheed played very good defense, but his bricking put the Pistons in dire straits from the get go.

Ben Wallace, C 29 MIN | 1-5 FG | 3-6 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 4 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTSBen Wallace again kept Jermaine O‘Neal in check. But he didn’t contribute much himself.
Corliss Williamson, PF 15 MIN | 3-7 FG | 3-4 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 9 PTS

Lindsey Hunter, PG 7 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS
Mehmet Okur, C 16 MIN | 2-4 FG | 4-4 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS  

Mike James, PG 12 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 3 PTS  
Darvin Ham, SF 1 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS  
Larry Brown, Head Coach Brown coached Detroit to another tossup game in Indiana. Excellent work.

-Tim Thielke

From the frontlines

Reggie Miller had the ball in the open court, and the Pistons — who, to this day, brag about their confidence — were resigned to their fate.
Did Chauncey Billups believe Miller would score?

“I did. Absolutely, man,” Billups said. “Absolutely.”

“I didn’t think there was any possible way we could catch him,” said Dave Hanners, an assistant on the team who now works for the Pelicans.

Even after the play, Hanners couldn’t believe what he’d just seen. He was certain Miller, inexplicably, slowed down. It wasn’t until reviewing film he realized what happened.

Tayshaun Prince happened.

“That was the biggest play of, I believe, my career for us winning the championship that year,” Prince said. “But also, I thought it was the best play of the year for our team. Because if we go down 2-0 to Indiana, we’re in trouble.”

Up next

The Legend of Tayshaun Prince isn’t a great one, but it sure did start with a great moment.

Whether it was the Pistons backing up Rasheed Wallace’s guarantee (guaran-Sheed?) or Prince saving the day with his Stretch Armstrong block of Reggie Miller’s layup, this was another one of those games that kind of made you think — this team could really do it.

The offense was Richard Hamilton and whoever else happened to make another shot. But it was that defense, highlighted by Prince, that kept the Pistons afloat. They held Indiana to 28 percent shooting, which is nuts to think about how often this team did that to opponents during this run.

But back to Prince’s block real quick. Miller said after the game, ”I saw him in my rearview mirror,” Miller said. “In hindsight, I should have dunked it, but I thought I had a few steps on him.”

Could Reggie really dunk in that spot? At 104 years old? C’mon, Reg. Try again in Game 3 on May 26.

7 Comments

  • May 25, 20149:21 am
    by gmehl

    Reply

    Man we had 16 blocks in total that game… wow! I still get so geed up when I watch replays of that block. I love how Miller cried that it was a goaltend and he even did so for days afterwards. You slow it down frame per frame and Prince got it clean as f**k.

    • May 26, 201410:03 am
      by chuckles

      Reply

      yeah its hard to believe isn’t it, does show how much the nba game has changed now the final score 72 – 67 could be a half time score in a game now!

  • May 26, 201412:33 am
    by Ryan

    Reply

    Reggicide. Greatest play in Piston’s history not only for helping get us the win but also for helping to end that d-bags career.

  • May 26, 20142:24 pm
    by Josh

    Reply

    I’m sorry. You can’t give Tayshaun a B+ for the “block” game. He gets an A+ no matter what he did the rest of the game.

    • May 26, 20146:31 pm
      by Tim Thielke

      Reply

      False. The block was extremely memorable but if he had scored two more points earlier, it would have been completely unnecessary.

      The block on Miller bumped the plus onto his B for how sensational it was, but most of his grade stemmed from fantastic defense on Artest throughout.

      • May 26, 20148:31 pm
        by gmehl

        Reply

        Yep Tim is absolutely correct. It was a great play but unless you watch the whole game you’d see that no one really deserved anything close to an A. I mean when the scores 72-67 there’s gonna be a tonne of missed shots, turnovers and breakdowns in plays. In Prince’s defence Sheed should’ve sealed the game as all he had to do was go up stronger and dunk it or take body contact and get to the line(see youTube link below). Either way Tim keep up the good work on the gradings and keep in mind no what you grade players someone isn’t gonna be happy.
         
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QJ4iwqnLKc

  • May 26, 20149:53 pm
    by Tim Thielke

    Reply

    Not to worry, I am very aware that pleasing everybody is impossible. And it’s not much of a priority of mine either. But, given that the vast majority of what I post here are game grades, I am willing to explain myself when challenged.

    People don’t have to like the explanations, but it gives me some accountability in terms of consistency.

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