I admit, when I read Tayshaun Prince said he wanted to stay in Detroit, I wasn’t sure if I believed him. From Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press:
“I’m so accustomed to what is going on around here and how everything is so family-oriented, on and off the basketball court,” Prince said.
He then was asked about comments he made last summer about wanting to stay in Detroit. “The organization is a place you wanted to be,” he said Tuesday. “It’s a great group of guys that I was around through out my time here. All those things play a part to make you feel at home and makes you feel comfortable, and that’s how I’ve always felt.”
Prince added that he still feels the same way about the organization.
Just because Prince spoke with a different attitude, did he really feel it? Well, his production shows a change.
Prince had a season-high 23 points (11-of-15 shooting) and five rebounds in Detroit’s 103-97 loss to the Kings last night. The night before, Prince scored a then-season-high 18 points on 7-for-11 shooting.
I’m still not sure what that means. Is he trying to prove to Joe Dumars he can still contribute to this team? Or is he auditioning for a trade?
Either way, I’m glad this Prince has re-joined the Pistons. Each of the starters on the championship team has gone through a rough patch, and it’s sad to see. But maybe the tide is turning.
Chauncey Billups found happiness in Denver. Ben Wallace did the same in his return to Detroit. And Richard Hamilton seems proud to play with fellow Connecticut Huskies in Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva.
I hope Prince is the next Piston to get back on track. For all he meant to this franchise, I don’t want to see him fade away. (Now about Rasheed Wallace…)
Still, until Prince keeps up the good play and body language after the trade deadline, I won’t be truly convinced this is where he wants to be.
Next-generation point guards
Rodney Stuckey had a very nice game with 17 points, nine assists, four rebounds and four steals. He had five turnovers, but he’s made considerable progress playing within the offense.
No longer completely baffled at when to create and when to take over, his production has increased. His performance doesn’t vary game-by-game as much as it did before, either.
On the other hand, Tyreke Evans impressed in a different way. In the first 42:38 of last night’s game, the Pistons held Evans to to six points. But he took over down the stretch.
He hit a short jumper. He split two defenders on a pick-and-roll and burst to the basket for a layup. Then, he stole the ball from Stuckey’s hands and raced for a dunk before the Pistons had time to even think about a comeback.
I’m really happy with Stuckey’s progress. But I’m not sure I could really see him doing that right now.
Has he lost a killer instinct? Did he have one in the first place? Can he develop one?
Trouble scoring inside late
The Kings have the NBA’s second-worst interior defense, allowing opponents to make 65.6 of their shots at the rim. But they really shut down Detroit inside in the game’s final minutes.
I’m not sure whether it was an aberration or the Pistons were doing something wrong, but I’m going keep an eye on it after the All-Star break.
For what it’s worth, Detroit makes 58.1 percent of its shots at the rim (sixth-best in the league).