My mancrush on Tayshaun Prince is well documented. Dude plays the one through four positions like it's nothing. Has played every game for going on six straight seasons. Shoots threes. Most important, dude plays lock down defense on whomever requires locking down.
Rodney Stuckey's the one who threw up 38 points the other day, but Prince is the one who keeps me up at night. The way the Pistons have been running their squad, Gerald and Boris will likely split responsibility for covering Tayshaun. Wallace is coming off a game where Larry Brown accused him of not hustling, and I'm scared he'll react negatively, trying to play omniscient superhero (aka LeBron-ing), when he's most effective careening on an edge between reason and doubt. Diaw, on the other hand, will spend time fighting with Jason Maxiell and Amir Johnson, so Tayshaun will be a totally different challenge and require Diaw to access his inner guard in order to defend, which might be particularly tough.
I think I love Prince so much because he looks like he's analyzing every detail of a play while it's in motion. I've tried to do this in my pickup games, to force the game to such a rhythm that I can manipulate everyone else on the floor with my movements and feel what everyone else will do before they do it. For those instants when I dribble behind a screen at the top of the key, then reverse direction, and every other player stops in his tracks... I suspect Prince plays whole games in that mental state.
-- DJ Augustin is out with an abdominal injury. That means Raymond will probably get a little more burn, as will Sean Singletary, and we may even get a Shannon Brown sighting. I hate to say it, but it might be for the best that Augustin won't play in this game and that Singletary might be the third option behind Brown. Seeing as Iverson is Iverson, Stuckey is at least 6-4, and Rip is listed at 6-6, our short guards will have all sorts of issues covering the guards Detroit can throw out there.
-- This needs to be said somewhere: If we had a deal in place to trade Felton, then just pull the trigger. We aren't making the playoffs with this squad, so having Singletary and Brown and Diaw run the offense until the new guy shows up would be perfectly acceptable. What? You think stealing a road game from the Pistons could make a difference in the end? Pshaw.
-- Sheed can pull Emeka out to the three point line. Not good times. When the Pistons bring in Maxiell or Amir Johnson, it might be worth switching Emeka to them and Diaw to Sheed, daring him to post up.
-- I'll open the game thread sometime this afternoon. The word of the day is: swat.