Last night, The Memphis Grizzlies dismantled the Pistons 105-91, but that was not the main attraction. Yesterday's game marked the first time that Tayshaun Prince (and Austin Daye) made their Palace debuts in opposing colors.
"I expected it for the simple fact of what they've done for the other guys that were here," Prince said… "I'm definitely appreciative. I knew they would be appreciative since they were appreciative while I was here." (Detroit Free Press)
It was awkward for fans to hear the name "Tayshaun Priiiiince", but to see a teal #21 rise off of the bench, instead of a white #22 from the home bench, and as expected, Tayshaun downplayed his comeback.
"I wanted to win. I think a lot of guys put themselves in the position where I'm going to go out here and get 30," Prince said with a smile. "That ain't me. I'm past that. I just want to get the win. I'm not the type of guy to force the issue." (Detroit Free Press)
His play echoed these words with just four points, on 2-7 shooting, with three rebounds and a block in 20 minutes of action. He seemed like the same old Tayshaun, with his team play, effective defense, and passive offensive choice. He made it clear that he did not come back to drop points like Rasheed Wallace (16 with Boston), Richard Hamilton (14 with Chicago), and Chauncey Billups (34 with Denver). Like Chauncey, he received a warm welcome from the fans, but like Hamilton, he left with the W. Going inside the stats, Prince was also a +6 in the vital +/- category, but there is no statistic for his calming influence he provided for the Pistons youngsters, and now provides for a contending Memphis team.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Austin Daye returned to a surprisingly warm (compared to what was expected) response from the crowd. Unlike the calming Prince, the fourth year player seemed to play with a chip on his shoulder, picking up his scoring average from 4.6 to 6.4 with the Grizzlies, including a 16 point outing against the Minnesota Timberwolves
"It's an adjustment, but I was happy with the trade," [Daye] said. "I'm glad to have the opportunity to play with a playoff team and playing good minutes, and I've been productive so it's been great for me." (Detroit Free Press)
Daye came out firing, finishing with six points on 3-5 shooting, and three rebounds in 14 minutes of play. After his last made shot, he turned and wolfed at the Pistons bench, causing both Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight to laugh. Soon after, rookie forward Khris Middleton came soaring in for a dunk over Daye for a response. Daye finished -11 in the +/- section.
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