Tayshaun Prince Starting Tonight vs. Cavs

After suiting up but not playing Sunday afternoon against the Washington Wizards, it looks like the newly acquired Tayshaun Prince may finally get his opportunity tonight when the Detroit Pistons take on the Cleveland Cavaliers (7:30, FSD).

Speaking with the press following Monday’s practice, Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy mentioned it’d be his preference to have both new players (Prince and point guard Reggie Jackson) team up on the same unit, which means Prince will find himself starting at small forward tonight.

“Rather than having one guy in the first unit and one guy in the second unit where we’re limited all the time, then we can come off the bench with guys who know more stuff,” Van Gundy said. “That’s my thought right now, but I won’t make a decision for sure until after the walk-through tomorrow. But if (Prince’s) comfort level is good, we’ll probably go that way.”

Speaking with the Detroit Free Press, Prince admitted one of his primary concerns will be recalling the correct terminology for his new team’s various sets. Now playing for his third team in two months, much of the execution remains the same but with small intrinsic differences.

“Just trying to remember,” said Prince. “Over the last month, there’s been some of the same plays but with three different playcalls.

“I haven’t played in two weeks so that’s my only concern. Hopefully my wind is better than I expect but obviously two weeks off is two weeks off from game shape. Playing a tough team makes it even harder.”

Prince has experienced a longer layoff than normal as his former team, the Boston Celtics, played their final game before the All-Star break on Wednesday, February 11. Then, Prince was dealt to the Pistons while preparing for a game in Sacramento, so he had to fly cross-country back to Boston to gather belongings before finally arriving in Detroit late Saturday night.

Adding it all up, it’s now been 13 days since Prince played an NBA basketball game, which may mean there could be a degree of rust to be shaken off as he looks to re-develop his wind.

Even in the even of a slow start, and even with his cautious re-acclimation following his blindsided exit from Detroit during the crisis-ridden Lawrence Frank era, we welcome back the Prince of the Palace.

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