Underappreciated Pro’s: Tayshaun Prince
Underappreciated Pro’s: Tayshaun Prince
Underappreciated, undervalued, and underrated are all words you could use to describe Tayshaun Prince. An important glue guy to countless great Piston teams in the past ten years. Prince has been overlooked his whole career, maybe because he doesn’t stand out in one statistical category, or because he doesn’t score twenty points every night. But regardless, there is no good reason why he isn’t given the credit he deserves, just ask any Piston fan, they’ll tell you he’s irreplaceable.
Let’s take a swirl down memory lane to the 2004 NBA Playoffs. It’s game two, Eastern Conference Finals, Pistons vs. Pacers. The Pacers lead the series 1-0, but the Pistons have a 69-67 lead with a little more than twenty seconds left. Chauncey Billups loses the ball and Jamaal Tinsley fires an outlet pass to Reggie Miller for what seems to be an easy basket. But as Miller goes in for a layup, Prince comes into the picture and jumps from outside the restricted area to block Miller’s shot. It is considered one of the greatest blocks in NBA playoff history. And not only did Prince block the shot, he swatted it to the side to keep it in play. Richard Hamilton recovered the ball, got fouled, and hit two free throws to ice the game.
The Pistons tied to series at 1-1 and went on to win the series in six games. If Miller made the layup, it is not farfetched to say the Pacers could have won the game, and a 2-0 lead for Indiana would have been deadly for Detroit with all the momentum against them.
In 2004, the Pistons faced the Lakers in the finals, and came in as large underdogs. The Pistons could rely on Ben Wallace to help slow down Shaquille O’Neal, but who could slow down Kobe Bryant, that’s right, Tayshaun Prince. He was given the extremely tough task of guarding Kobe in the series, and did an admirable job. Kobe averaged 22.6 points in the series, but on 38.1% shooting. Now compare that to in the regular season, where Kobe shot 43.8% from the field, that’s a big difference. And Kobe only shot over 40% in one game of the five game series, game two which was the Lakers only victory. The Pistons won the title that year, in large part to their 2nd year player Prince.
Now it wasn’t just his 2004 playoff’s that impresses, it’s his incredible consistency and durability. First off, he was stayed incredibly healthy in his NBA career. As in 7 out of Prince’s 11 seasons, he has played all 82 regular season games. His lowest game total is 42 games in his rookie season. That is staggering in the NBA where players regularly go down with an injury for months at a time. You can’t help your team if you can’t play, but that hasn’t been a problem for Prince.
He also has been consistently very solid in the main statistical categories. In points, excluding his rookie season, he has never averaged less than 10 points in his career. From rebounding to assists, his numbers are alarmingly similar from year to year. Combine that with his durability and he’s a guy who the Pistons could count on without worry the past decade. Also in his career per 36 minutes, he averages only 1.4 fouls per game. We compared that to other excellent small forwards such as Paul Pierce and Carmelo Anthony, who fouled 2.8 and 3.0 times per 36 minutes respectfully. The numbers show how Prince can play excellent defense without fouling which is an underrated skill in the NBA.
Prince throughout his NBA career has been known as a superb defender, and it’s not hard to see why. He is a 6’9 small forward with a 7’2 wingspan, who’s also a sneaky athlete who moves his feet well. He times blocks well, and can always be counted on to shut down a player. But most of all, he always gives 100% in diving for loose balls and fighting for the extra rebound. That is not shown on the stat sheet, which could explain why he doesn’t get the attention he deserves. Or maybe it’s because he’s been overshadowed by other louder players like Rasheed Wallace. Either way, it doesn’t seem to be a coincidence Memphis had its best playoff run this past season with Prince. He’s a guy every team would love to have, as he does all the little things to help you win.
Also here's a highlight tribute I made recently. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVgG9In_Nfo&feature=youtu.be
He should of been a all-star at least once
Team sucked b4 him. He brought fight and passion. He dealt with annoying Scott Skiles. He has not played with any weapons either besides up and down Ellis. He is not worth 12 mill per but he is underrated IMO. He had to shoot a lot and he is a better passer than he is given credit for. No weapons and they made the playoffs or been in the hunt with him.
Pu$$! £$ instead of giving negs. Was he not the best player over the last few years? Have they been trash since he been there or better?
This is called "Underappreciated Pros", I don't see anything that Jennings has done in his career to be appreciated. Now I may agree with you that lately he's become underrated by constantly being considered overrated but underappreciated to me would be someone who's done a lot and doesn't get enough credit for it. And don't forget Bogut was their best player for the most part (when he was there and not injured) and they had a nice all around team in their past years.
Probably should have been an all star at some point but you glossed over the Kuester years. That player boycott will be a stain on his career. I just hope it doesn't tarnish his reputation too much.
I thought that he should of made the all star team that year Rasheed, Ben, Chauncey, and Rip were on there. But at least he is a gold metal Olympian. And he will get his jersey retired in Detroit, eventually(along with Ben and Chauncey).
so maybe... darko made an happy man afterall.
Melo in the place prince wouldn't have had the same kind of carreer.
Definitely underappreciated. The fact that an argument against taking Otto Porter high in the draft was that he compared to Tayshaun Prince just shows how much people have undervalued his game. Just look at the Grizzlies success when replacing Rudy Gay with a well past his prime Tyahsaun Prince.