"I think no matter what team you have, in my sense, I think you have to find out who your starting five is and roll with it," Prince said.
I completely disagree. Ideally, it would be great to have a clear-cut five players who are better than their teammates and play well together. But when that’s not the case, not only is changing the starting lineup tolerable, it’s often logical.
What about players who improve during the season? Shouldn’t they have a chance to earn a starting spot? And what about players who don’t live up to expectations? Shouldn’t they risk losing their starting job?
Let’s keep in mind the Pistons’ first starting lineup this season was Rodney Stuckey, Richard Hamilton, Prince, Austin Daye and Ben Wallace. Kuester’s first attempt to improve the lineup was replacing Daye with Jason Maxiell. Neither lineup includes Detroit’s best player this season, Greg Monroe, who didn’t even crack the initial rotation.
Identifying your starting five and blindly rolling with it, to me, seems disadvantageous. What do you think, Tayshaun?
Prince feels for the players not as fortunate as him, especially Chris Wilcox, who’s play has improved dramatically in recent games.
"I always tell people, when you come off that bench and you’re not playing consistent minutes, it’s hard to stay in a rhythm," Prince said. "He was in a bad situation last year. He didn’t get good minutes."
So, Prince wants to keep the same starting lineup, even though he realizes it adversely affects the bench players. Chris Wilcox already faced a steep hill to starting, because he began the season on the bench. What if he had been told he had no chance at starting this season, because the Pistons were just rolling with their original starters? How hard do you think he would have worked?
Players need incentives, and they need roles. For coaches, balancing those two sometimes-conflicting ideas is a challenge. Prince seems to understand and ignore that simultaneously, which is pretty fitting considering how the Pistons fanbase feels about Kuester.
The Kuester divide
Pistons fans who think Kuester haphazardly changes his rotation too often, keep in mind a sizable number of fans think he stubbornly refuses to change his rotation often enough.
Pistons fans who think Kuester stubbornly refuses to change his rotation often enough, keep in mind a sizable number of fans think he haphazardly changes his rotation too often.
Tayshaun, uh, I guess keep both in mind.
Prince’s statement wrong on content, not intent
I don’t fault Prince for saying this. I’m 100 percent for athletes speaking their minds. If Prince feels this way, and I give him a ton of credit for saying it. He shouldn’t have to subjugated his thoughts at the feet of an almighty head coach.
But Prince also must understand his role. Who starts, even in the NBA, is the coach’s decision. Players are entitled to disagree, and I wish more would publicly when they do privately. I think Prince is wrong, but I’ll stick up for his right to be wrong.
My problem in this regard comes when players let what they can’t control – like starting lineups – control what they can – like showing up to practice.