Many Pistons fans, myself included, have been hard on Tayshaun Prince the last couple seasons for his penchant to bog down the offense in isolations (or Isolayshauns). That’s not totally fair, though. Bad teams often force players to try and do too much, and that is the position Prince found himself caught in with the Pistons of the last three seasons. He’s more productive as a third or fourth option, but out of necessity, he became a first or second option. He did the best he could in those circumstances.
In today’s Detroit Free Press column, though, I wrote about how the Pistons might finally have enough talent heading into next season that they can comfortably reduce Prince’s role, get more opportunities for their developing All-Star Greg Monroe and also keep Prince more rested:
Prince, despite his slight frame, has been one of the most durable players in the NBA during the era in which he’s played. But he’s also getting older. The Pistons also have multiple capable backups, including Corey Maggette, an effective player if healthy, who can give him more rest than he’s accustomed to this season. Prince was more efficient offensively when he was asked to do less and better able to take advantage of his versatility. The Pistons have young players capable and hungry for larger roles. They’ve also invested in Prince for three more seasons. All of those factors should cause the team too consider a slightly reduced role for him this season. That’s not an insult to anything he’s accomplished in his career. Asking players to do too much is a trademark of most bad teams. The Pistons are finally in a position where they no longer have to do that with Prince, and that’s a great sign that the team is finally starting to make some positive progress.