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.