ESPN asked TrueHoop Network bloggers to submit two below-the-radar storylines for their team, one positive and one negative. Today, the Eastern Conference answers were featured, and here’s my Pistons submission:
What upbeat story deserves more attention?
Charlie Villanueva looked at his play last season and astutely observed he didn’t live up to the five-year, $37.5 million contract he signed the previous summer. Then, he told that to everyone, upping the pressure on himself. After Villanueva spent the summer working out in Detroit, he’s delivered. His numbers are only moderately better, but his defense and energy are markedly improved, and he’s had the team’s best body language.
What downbeat story deserves more attention?
Tayshaun Prince, whose jack-of-all-trades play earned him a spot on the 2008 U.S. Olympic team, has become largely two-dimensional — and those two dimensions are making 2-point shots and openly feuding with his coach. His defense hasn’t been "shutdown" in years, and his rebounding and passing are on the decline, too. A recent surge has lifted his scoring average into an acceptable range, but he’s not making enough 3-pointers or free throws. Someone remind Prince this is a contract year.