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2 Detroit PISTONS
L. Jon Wertheim
October 27, 2003
A scrawny swingman must pick up where he left off in the playoffs
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October 27, 2003

2 Detroit Pistons

A scrawny swingman must pick up where he left off in the playoffs

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POS.

PVR

PPG

RPG

APG

BPG

SPG

FG%

3FG%

FT%

ELDEN CAMPBELL#

C

151

6.1

3.2

0.9

0.70

0.59

39.7

 

80.1

 

TAYSHAUN PRINCE

SF

75

3.3

1.1

0.6

0.33

0.24

44.9

42.6

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS

PG

64

16.2

3.7

3.9

 

0.85

42.1

39.2

87.8

RICHARD HAMILTON

SG

35

19.7

3.9

2.5

 

0.78

44.3

26.9

83.3

BEN WALLACE

PF

27

6.9

15.4

1.6

3.15

1.42

48.1

 

45.0

#NEW ACQUISITION

When Larry Brown replaced Rick Carlisle as coach of the Pistons last summer, one of his first moves was to contact Tayshaun Prince. "Get ready," Brown told the second-year forward, "to play some major minutes." Those aren't the words usually heard by a player who averaged 3-3 points and 1.1 rebounds as a rookie, especially one who didn't even take off his warmups in 40 of 82 regular-season games.

But Brown had vivid recollections of Prince's breakout performance in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Having finally cracked the rotation, Prince was indispensable in Detroit's six-game victory over Brown's 76ers. While Prince averaged 13.0 points on a medley of long-range jumpers, twisting fadeaways and nifty low-post moves, his versatility as a defender really caught Brown's eye. Prince is 6'9" and a lithe 215 pounds, but his wingspan is 7'2", enabling him to match up against opponents at four positions. "There aren't many guys who can guard Tracy McGrady in one series and Allen Iverson in the next," says Brown. "What team wouldn't want to take advantage of a player like that?"

Inspired by Prince's emergence, the Pistons traded forwards Clifford Robinson and Michael Curry. Likewise the presence of the Prince formerly known as DNP-CD made it easier for Detroit to pass up forward Carmelo Anthony with the No. 2 pick and draft 7-foot Darko Milicic. "Even when I was on the bench, I always knew I could play, so my confidence didn't really get low," Prince says. "As I get more experience, I think that I can be a top player in this league."

If his grasp comes anywhere close to equaling his prodigious reach, he may well be right.

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