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Friday, September 5th, 2008 at 8:00 am  |  193 responses

SLAMonline Top 50: Tayshaun Prince, no. 45

The definitive ranking of the best players in the NBA today…

by Jake Appleman

I was going to write a short story about Tayshaun Prince being captured and taken into a cave to be initiated by the Skin and Bones society–Mick Jagger, Calista Flockhart, Snoop Dogg, the cast of America’s Next Top Model, the Olsen twins, etc. He was going to be praised for his all around selflessness (if shots were food…), and the ceremony was going to conclude with some mighty words from the next President of the United States, Barack Obama, a SK&B member himself. Then, somewhere between writing my first paragraph and Russ mentioning “Unnamed Fetus Palin”, I realized that a) I might not have the time to give the piece the creative juice it deserved and b) it would be ironically thin on actual basketball discussion.

So here goes something that’s been bothering me: I have absolutely no idea which member of the Detroit Pistons is their most valuable player. I suppose it doesn’t matter, and that’s kind of the point, but I’m miffed that I can’t make a decision, or even feel compelled to lean one way. (I voted Chauncey highest on my top 50 list but definitely feel some regret about that. In fact, all four Pistons that I put on my list were within in 10 or so spots of one another.)

Conventional wisdom and legend tells us it’s Chauncey, he of the sneaker contract and the big shots. However, it’s funny to think about his rep and realize that his nickname has served to protect him somewhat unjustly from criticism deserved for poor recent postseason play. Also worth noting: he’s been the floor general on a team that hasn’t responded to its coach annually when it mattered most. That warrants true examination.

The underdog in us says it’s Rip, the guy who logs the miles going around the screens that tire out the opposing defense, which helps D-troit clamp down and do their thing on the other end. The underdog says don’t underestimate the guy that takes good shots and practices the lost art that keeps the other team honest. But Rip isn’t a bulldog on the other end of the floor quite like Detroit’s other mainstays. And if defense is the hallmark by which half of a player is judged, then you have the counter argument right there.

The sensationalist in us might be blinded by a deep love for Sheed, so much so that his incredible talents cloud our viewpoints. But he’s too volatile and simply doesn’t perform well enough consistently.

That leaves us with Prince, the dude that looks like he was born to a pterodactyl octopus and a malnourished refugee. Since the Pistons aren’t truly built for the playoffs anymore–prove us wrong and we won’t judge you so–it’s imperative to look at which guys matter most during the course of the regular season that defines their success. To me, those two are Hamilton and Prince. Prince’s disruptive length and willingness to do the proverbial little things provide a microcosm of what the Pistons are. His two-way productivity and on-court selflessness blend the rest of Detroit’s bigger egos rather seamlessly and help the day to day of their easy 82 game ride.

Yet he still flies under the radar (even here, on this list, he isn’t getting his proper due). Just remember next time he unfurls that ugly 3-ball from the corner thanks to some transition hustle–after spending 23 seconds gobbling up the other team’s best player–that he deserves more of your respect. Just because he could temporarily house a honeydew while sucking in his man-cave doesn’t mean he isn’t a complete player.

Prince might have been invited to Beijing because Team USA’s frontcourt was thin, but as always is the case with the guy that logs the most minutes on a perennial Eastern conference contender, the whole picture is more important than the frame.

Want more of the SLAMonline Top 50? Check out the archive.

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  • Michael

    next president obama…unnamed fetus palin, its gonna be f*ckin hilarious around here if mccain gets in

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the balla

    first… good choice

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    …. I dunno. Prince is great and all but over Monta? or Camby even? Thats a tough call but as always Jakes writing is…. creative. :) But I suppose in reality this is fair.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    I could have sworn that Ryne or one of the senior writers gave a rationale for the choices and it included how important the players contribution to the success of the team. It can be argued that Prince is important for the Pistons success the same way the Shane Battier is for the rockets but is he more important than Monta or Smith to their teams? Just wondering if we could actually have some sort of statement defining the reasons players are ranked as they are. What goes into the judging since its, um difinitive and all.

  • Michael

    the josh smith ranking looks even worse now

  • riggs

    imo? he shouldve been higher than this, he is incredibly underrated that it baffles me because he is one of the few all-around’s in the game, but i guess he loses points for being a role player (i wonder if james posey even makes this list?)

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    His beard is disgraceful. He obviously needs help from Baron or OJ Mayo or even Yao. Never thought I’d include Yao in a statement re. facial hair….

  • http://www.myspace.com/2536545 Bryan

    F*ck this.

  • http://www.lkz.ch/basket Darksaber

    Tayshaun is the real deal. Straight up basketball fiend. Think, how many times have you looked at his freakish limbs and awkward walk, that kinda shy way he looks into the camera and thought “come on, he’s not that good”! Well HE IS! The knack for hitting deep 3′s, the weakside blocks, the defense, his drives. i am more than an admirer of Prince’s game, i totally adore the abilities of this guy. Plus, he absolutely EMBARASSED Reggie’s butt in front of a huge tv audience when he erased his breakaway layup attempt a few years back. That was the moment he grew on me. Go Tayshaun. in my humble opinion, he’s top 40.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    If Prince is on the list then Shane Battier should be as well, thats how valuable he is to the Rockets success imo. Battier is better at almost everything than Prince except blocking shots from behind and second chance rebounding opportunites. He is a better indivdual defender and is more solid help wise. He’s a better 3 ball shooter and FT % is higher. He is almost exactly like Prince but he performs at a slightly higher level in those categories.

  • http://nbaukfan.blogspot.com/ mat smith

    Tprince is a great player, and maybe should have been higher cos of his tenacious D, but its hard to say untill all fiddy are posted, brian scall best be in top 5 though…. maybe….

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Thanks Shia. Nice to have you around :)

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Nice write-up Jake, although that skin & bones society story would have been killer. I’m glad people are recognizing Tay for his play and all-around ability. I’m quite sure this will get a lot of moans and groans so let the complaining begin (grabs popcorn).

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com DP

    Ain’t no f*cking way tayshaun is better than J-smoove and Monta.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Hursty: You cannot be f*ckin serious.

  • Glenn

    Great piece on Tayshaun. Just wanted to point out that Rip is a better defender than just about anyone gives him credit for. He’ll gaurd the best player on the other team more often this year, just keep an eye out.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    I can see i’ll be outnumbered today, so let me gracefully step to the side.

  • http://www.myspace.com/2536545 Bryan

    Tayshaun is a joke.

  • http://www.nrl.com.au Money Bill Williams

    think this is a good choice, his defensive tenacity against reggie in the playoffs was remarkable

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com H to the Izzo

    He could have easily been top 40.And yes,for now I’d take him over both ‘J-Smooth’ and Monta.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com DP

    oh yeah he can play defense. forgot about that.

  • http://www.nrl.com.au Money Bill Williams

    @ hursty, if prince was a rocket and battier wasn’t, i think your arguement would be polarised

  • http://www.myspace.com/2536545 Bryan

    Are you for real Izzo? He’s a glorified Bruce Bowen.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com DP

    yeah…right.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Man thats BS if you think that Tay is better than Battier overall. Whatever man.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com DP

    Whatever I just want to see what next week’s lineup looks like.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    I dunno if I’d go with the Bruce Bowen comparison Shia.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com H to the Izzo

    Kobe4#44

  • http://www.nrl.com.au Money Bill Williams

    hurst, everyones entitled to their own opinion, im just voicing mine, tayshaun is better than battier

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    My bad.

    Battier

    2007-08 Statistics
    PPG 9.3
    RPG 5.1
    APG 1.9
    SPG 1.0
    BPG 1.1
    FG% 0.428
    FT% 0.743
    3P% 0.377
    MPG 36.3

    Prince

    2007-08 Statistics
    PPG 13.2
    RPG 4.9
    APG 3.3
    SPG 0.5
    BPG 0.4
    FG% 0.448
    FT% 0.768
    3P% 0.363
    MPG 32.9

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com DP

    I don’t know about Tay and Battier battle, I think Tayshaun would win in that deparment, Hurst. Tay can score when he has to and defend with the best. Battier is merely a hustle guy but he is a good defender. Spot up shooter.

  • http://www.myspace.com/2536545 Bryan

    I just hate this f*cking guy everyone on the pistons roster is overrated. They don’t win anything and blame everyone but themselves. Rip is the only one who is worth d*ck on that team. Mr big shot hasn’t been in a situation to earn that nickname since they beat the Lakers…. F*ck man.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Battier played at Duke though so fu*k that. Prince is obviously better.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com H to the Izzo

    Hursty-Who were you trying to prove was better,because if it was Battier,I think it just backfired.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Shia is making the impending doom of a Category 4 hurricane coming my way take a backseat this morning. Thanks, man.

  • http://sdfjkl.com Jukai

    I gotta say, I’d prefer a number 45 that didn’t disappear in the middle of key games and show absolutely no verbal skills what-so-ever. Not sure I agree with this.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    DP- I just can’t agree with you there. Compare Battier and Prince’s rookie seasons and the scoring. Battier scored when he had the opportunites at Memphis and he and Gasol averaged a combined close to 30ppg as rookies and it was split pretty evenly point wise ( even though I think that Pau eventually won the ROY?)

  • http://sdfjkl.com Jukai

    I love during the playoffs, in key matchups, the commentators will always say that Prince having a good game will be the key to winning or going home early. Of course, he never does.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Izzo I was wrong on that but Prince is probably a better penetration type player than Battier but he can’t post up or hit a pull up jumper or come off screens and hit consistently like Battier can.

  • http://sdfjkl.com Jukai

    Hursty: I think you’re overrating Battie, bro. He’s had plenty of chances to show his scoring abilities since T-Mac is injured every thirteen seconds. He never has.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Hursty, Tayshaun’s post skill (back down into baby hook) from the left block is one of his most undervalued skills. It’s almost an unstoppable move.

  • http://www.nrl.com.au Money Bill Williams

    probably because tay doesnt drink his supplements

  • http://www.another48minutes.blogspot.com Gerard Himself

    interesting that he’s rated over Josh Smith. I think if you would have a survey right here, a lot of people would choose him over Prince, is my guess.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    As a rookie Battier averaged 14.4 points per game and took 961 shots. This year he took 619- the lowest in his career so don’t say he can’t score.
    Prince averaged 3.3 points on 118 shots his rookie year. This year he averaged 13.2 which is his lowest in the last 4! seasons. And he did it on 940 shots.

    So stat wise Battier was a better scorer than Prince in his rookie year than Prince was THIS year. If you work out the %’s on shots taken and the amount of points scored then Battier would STILL be the more proficient scorer if he had the same amount of shots that Prince has today so the scoring point is invalid.

  • http://www.lkz.ch/basket Darksaber

    Shia (sorry, couldn’t help it), calling Prince a glorified Bowen Collector is so wrong on many levels. It’s like calling Jessica Alba a glorified Jennifer Lopez….so wrong.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    If you have a veteran team that needs a solid role player, you take Tayshaun. If you are looking for a building block to a younger, less experienced team that needs seasoning, with a high ceiling for improvement you take the ATLien.

  • http://www.myspace.com/2536545 Bryan

    There are probably 3 players on all 30 teams in the league I would take over tay.

  • http://www.lkz.ch/basket Darksaber

    @Eboy: get the hell of the keyboard son, and start boarding up those windows. Slamonline will be here after the hurricane, your life posessions might not. Stay safe.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Put Tayshaun on the Celts, Spurs or the Lakers and those three teams become even MORE fearsome. Put Josh on anyone of them and there is some uncertainty to how he’d fit in and contribute to that type of squad. I bet Lebron would like him in a Cavs uni as well.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com H to the Izzo

    Yeah and if Dan Dickau got the same amount of shots as MJ,he’d be better.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Dark, thanks for the concern, seriously, the storm’s due to hit on Monday evening, so I have time. You’ll just have to deal with me today. Sorry. :)

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    If you have a veteran team that needs a solid role player you take Battier. He’s one of the team captains on the Rockets along with T-Mac and he has arguably one of the top 5 basketball IQ’s in the NBA along with guys like LeBron James. Thats the intelligence factor coming in too. Prince might be savvy but he imo doesnt have THAT ‘click’ that Battier has on his all round game. He knows where guys should be almost every time and he’s probably ( arguably) a better communicator basketball wise and talking to players ( from what I’ve read than many other guys in the League.)

  • http://www.myspace.com/2536545 Bryan

    No way the Lakers would take Tay over Smith. Seriously eboy you better take care down there.

  • http://www.lkz.ch/basket Darksaber

    Hey Eboy, i don’t mind “dealing” with ya my man, you’ve always been good to me, plus curious minds in here say you look like the lead singer for Colour me Badd… and since you live in the sun state, i’m having a blast imagining you typing away in a turquoise silk/linen suit with the sleeves pulled up Don Johnson style.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Shia, the Lakers are a piece away from really being a dominant force. They need perimiter D to get over the hump. Tayshaun fits that role a hell of a lot better than Josh and off the ball shotblocking.

  • Fresh

    -Tayshaun Prince is a real good player at the NBA level, which says alot. But ranked over Monta Ellis and Josh Smith might be kind of a big move.
    -It is hard to shine on a team with three other all stars calibre players. sometimes you do get over looked
    -Rasheed Wallace might be the MVP of the team, like when Ben was on the team he was the Anchor and control the Paint of a defensive team. More info on Sheed profile…

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Izzo, are you going to actually contribute to this discussion ( its not an arguement… yet) or just make meaningless observations on he of the 60+ point college game?

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Wow… dead.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    what the hell happened?

  • http://sdfjkl.com Jukai

    Hursty, you would be able to answer that yourself if you had ever seen literally every single other post H to the Izzo has ever made

  • http://www.nrl.com.au Money Bill Williams

    dunno pretty weird huh

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com H to the Izzo

    If I was the majority of NBA teams,I’d take Tayshaun over Smith for three reasons.1)Tay’s peremiter D is superior to Smiths,far superior.2)Tayshaun doesn’t have the attitude problems that Smith has,anyone has watched more than three ATL games,has at least once seen Smith walk back on D.This becomes worse of things aren’t going his way.If my man Myung was,here,he’d give you a dissertaion on the subject.3)Tay can hit the outside and midrange shot with far more consistency.Now if I was a lottery team,I take Smith for the upside but any team with ambition would take Tayshaun-he simply know’s what he’s doing.Again this is just my OPINION,but for ME,J-Smooth is just a highlight reel until he develops his skill set.
    And Hursty:I’m not sure what your argument is other than preferring Battier to Tay,when stats you presented and simple logic suggests Prince is the better player.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    I’m still trying to decide who I’d rather have in a Heat uniform, Tayshaun, Josh or Battier.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Nah, see Izzo can be intelligent sometimes and contribute basketball related post like Betcats, its just that he flies under the radar by not drawing attention to himself as ‘loudly’ as bet does.

  • http://www.nrl.com.au Money Bill Williams

    eboy: your choices all > marion

  • B. Long

    “That leaves us with Prince, the dude that looks like he was born to a pterodactyl octopus and a malnourished refugee.” Holy Balls!

  • http://sdfjkl.com Jukai

    Yeah, he’s wrong though. I’d rather have Josh Smith if I was the Lakers or if I was the Cavaliers. It’s a question of whether you need scoring or defense.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Theres my point even though Izzo is too stupid on this occasion to realise that what the stats point out is that if Battier took the same amount of shots Prince did this season then he would have a higher scoring average. Thus making the ‘better scorer’ debate null and void.

  • http://sdfjkl.com Jukai

    I mean, what’s a better lineup to you.. Fisher, Kobe, Tayshun, Pau and Bynum or Fisher, Kobe, Smith, Pau and Bynum. I’ll take the latter, thanks.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Jukai=offensive minded simpleton.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    If I’m trying to win a title, I’d take your first squad, dum dum.

  • http://www.nrl.com.au Money Bill Williams

    lol at eboy

  • http://sdfjkl.com Jukai

    You’re right, because it wasn’t the Laker’s staggering inability to find offense against the Celtics that got them into trouble or anything

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com H to the Izzo

    The difference being,Battier did that on a team that finished 23-59 ,while Prince did it on a team that finished with a record of 59-23 with a better FG% and averaging 7 less minutes per game,not that it matters or anything..

  • http://sdfjkl.com Jukai

    If Kobe is really a first team all NBA defender, and Bynum comes back as strong in the middle as he is, you don’t NEED a Tayshun to win a championship. And come on, it’s not like Smith is a sleeper on defense… dude has had some incredible defensive games. I get to thinking it’s not really inability but apathy, the guy doesn’t look like he tries sometimes. That would deffinitely change under the Kobe regime. Or, well, blow up. Regardless, if you complain that ODOM has trouble being an option on offense, wait tell you see Tayshun “I’m too scared to steal shots from even Rip Hamilton” Prince play!

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    I’d rather have Bosh or Kaman on the Lakers than Pau personally. The Memphis offense was based strongly on cuts and movement both on and off ball and Pau was successful in that system. In the Lakers set up triangle offence its much harder to get the same looks and opportunities that he was getting in Memphis even though for the majority of the time his teams didnt have the same ability as the Lakers teams ( even with Kwame, but NOT Smush).

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Jukai, it didn’t help the Lakers cause that Odom and Pau are two guys with incredible scoring ability that played like you on a typical weekday. On the flip side, if their D was more solid they could have been in more than 2 of the 6 games and maybe even could have stole one of the first games in Boston. You don’t win titles with great offense solely (ask the Suns)you win a bunch of individual awards.

  • underdog

    Although I think Tay deserves a higher spot on this list, it’s good to see him around. And please stop comparing Tay to Battier. Dude played, about 5 times more playoff games than Shane. Yes, I accept Shane’s defensive and offensive skills, but he’s not even close. There is no statistic for experience.

  • http://www.myspace.com/2536545 Bryan

    I’m just baised against the pistons.

  • http://sdfjkl.com Jukai

    Eboy: Really, cause how’s that pure defensive strategy working for the Spurs and Pistons right now? They lost their firepower and now they have nothing. I hate that stupid ‘defense wins championships’ motto because every single championship team had damn near a lot of firepower.

  • http://sdfjkl.com Jukai

    I mean, look at the Cavaliers… that’s a damn great selection of very defensive minded players. Too bad they can’t score for jacksniht! That causes some problems.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Uhm…….dum dum, look at the title holders over the last several years, Boston (fantastic defensive team) the Spurs (several times and solid D with each title run) the Pistons one title and their consistent appearances in the Conference Finals make them more than relevant, sh*t, even the Heat’s one title run consisted of strong D from Posey, Mourning, Haslem and a commitment to team D from the rest. You’re sounding silly.

  • underdog

    In my humble opinion, the ‘defense wins championships’ motto doesn’t mean you don’t need firepower at all, it means defense is more important than offense. Otherwise the Nuggets are 2009 champs.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Not that it matters but Prince has never been a go to guy offensively at any stage of his career, not even at Kentucky. He has hit big shots but not with the play actually being designed for him most of the time just that it collapses. Battier has hit big shots both from 3 and the foul line. Whatever though Izzo. Battier and Pau took that team to the playoffs in 04- when the pistons won. Battier also played with torn ligaments in his ankle since late April and managed 82 games for the season. Again.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Offense is alwayus in abundance in basketball. Why? Because 98% of all ball players love to score and make their livings from it. Strong d is commodity that only a handful of guys take pride in and put forth the effort to. EVERY team has a couple of solid scorers. Not every team has a couple of solid defenders.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    *always

  • http://www.myspace.com/2536545 Bryan

    Tad isn’t saying anything because this pick is indefensible.

  • B. Long

    I’d rather have Josh Smith on the Lakers because even though he isn’t quite in the same defensive category as Prince he’s not that far off and still has tons of untapped potenial on both ends of the court and could still have a positive impact on both ends of the court for the Lakers right now even if his game never develops any more which is highly unlikely. But to make an even better point, I’ve decided that I would trade Lamar Odom for Stephen Jackson straight up. Make it happen, Mitch.

  • underdog

    Hursty, did you notice the Pistons doesn’t have a go-to-guy at all. Probably that’s their most important blessing and course in the same time.

  • B. Long

    underdog: “curse” maybe? Or are they running an online college now that I don’t know about?

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    btw the reason that Odom went to Rhode Island is because when he was 15 ( and one of the best players in the country) he fell in with the wrong crowd and they hooked him up with some h00kers and filmed it secretly. They said that if he didn’t go to RI then they would leak it- ruining his reputation and likely college ability since it was illegal.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com H to the Izzo

    Hursty:I’m not sure what else to say other than the stats back me up.Maybe I’m just too stupid to see it.

  • http://sdfjkl.com Jukai

    You’re right, the Celtics were a pure defensive team, what, with Ray Allen who has the purest shooting touch in the league, Kevin Garnett who drops twenty a night, and Paul Pierce, “the best offensive Celtic of all time.” Totally lacking any offense. The Spurs are (or, were) a VERY good offensive team. Watch their games against the Suns. They played the Suns pace and beat them at their own game. Hell, don’t even bring up the Heat, the Mavericks were, at that year, a SUPERIOR defensive team. Yet, the Heat still won. Partially because of David Stern, but mostly because of Wade and his OFFENSE.

  • http://sdfjkl.com Jukai

    That was to Izzo, BTW.

  • B. Long

    I thought it was because he was pretty much considered an elgibility cancer and that dude that used to coach at Georgia was the only guy dirty enough to push the paperwork thru. Who knew?

  • http://sdfjkl.com Jukai

    Actually, that was to Eboy. Man, I hate going into work at 6am.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Um yeh underdog, its Chauncey. TAD knows it, Phil Jackson knows it, I know it and even Shia knows it in his heart of hearts. He is what makes the Pistons tick. Regardless of how you may percieve Chauncey’s play in the playoffs hes their go to guy and the 1st option when the game is on the line. Rip is next and then it would likely depend on the score, time left and position of the inbounds for the other two.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    In my comment, did I say that the Pistons, the Celts, the Heat or the Spurs didn’t have solid or great offense? Did I? No, sir, I did not. You are not arguing with one of the hit and run cats that don’t know what to type when you try and spinout their mind with dazzling retorts.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com H to the Izzo

    Where did you hear that,Hursty?

  • http://sdfjkl.com Jukai

    Okay, so then your point must be that a team with an all NBA defensive guard and one of the best up-and-coming defensive centers in the league is lacking defense. Which is also stupid. The Lakers COULD NOT FIND A SHOT in the playoffs. You pointing out that Odom and Pau not being able to buy a basket more than proves my point. You’re not going to stop someone like Paul Pierce no matter how good of a defensive player you are. You think Tayshun can stop all-star level talent? How’d that work out with Lebron?

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    b.long was that at me? If so, I don’t understand.
    @ Izzo based on pure stats Prince is a better scorer. Battier blocks more shots, has more steals and shoots a higher % from 3. But its when those stats occur that matters and the shots taken to achieve that and the CONTRIBUTION to success that the player makes. Battier is more valuable to a teams success than Prince imo.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Completely indefensible Shia.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    @Izzo- on the rumour mill a while ago, just didn’t get to respond to the quesion someone asked a few days ago.
    @Jukai- Battier defended Kobe as well as anyone has ever done ( pretty much anyways) when the Lakers played the Rockets this year- and he found the extra reserve to hit a game winning 3. Even though it was in December.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com H to the Izzo

    Hursty:Whoever made it up was funny.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    *question. And it was backed up by this um, sort of crazy man I met in the gym who was full of conspiracies relating to basketball.
    *November, not December ( 2nd if I remember correctly.)

  • http://www.myspace.com/2536545 Bryan

    I mean I guess someone has to be the glue that holds the paper together for the paper eastern conference champs every year.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    See, thing was the crazy person was American and black and had a bunch of tattoos and said that he went to St. Johns ( which is in NY) and said that was the reason Odom committed the way he did and not really giving an explanation for that. Odom credits Kenny Smith for his skills and look where that got him – stepping over the baseline on an uncontested inbounds and a Zen slap from Phil ‘the disbeliver’.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Bryan is there a particular reason you have such bias against the Pistons?

  • Mendel

    Dude is top 30. This list is now offically garbage

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Now you’re getting it Shia.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Ah fellas. I’ve started enough antagonistic stuff with Izzo and someone is actually going to do research on Odom and Rhode Island and find out that I’m correct and start asking me some really awkward questions…. That is not in my best interests right now. Peace. Im out.

  • http://www.myspace.com/2536545 Bryan

    Yeah because they suck Hursty.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Don’t worry Shia, the Knicks rebuilding plan is taking shape.

  • http://www.myspace.com/2536545 Bryan

    At least we have a coach we will listen to.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Who doesn’t know defensive systems.

  • http://yaomania.com Wendy

    Tayshaun has all my respect for breaking trough as a rookie under Mr. Rookiekiller himself, Larry Brown. Which other Rookie can tell this about him?

  • iain.

    unfurls! gobbled up! octopus pterodactyl!! this piece was so well written and humorous it almost made me overlook the fact i dont think i agree with Prince being #45. And if Prince is #45 Shane Battier is not on this list (or James Posey for that matter).

  • http://www.myspace.com/2536545 Bryan

    Hey the pistons will be fine as long they have a coach or ref to blame when they lose in the second round.

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    i would take Josh over him to start a team, but right now they are about even. Monta is problay better than him though.

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    “Wendy says:
    Tayshaun has all my respect for breaking trough as a rookie under Mr. Rookiekiller himself, Larry Brown. Which other Rookie can tell this about him?”
    You problay are just stupid so i guess it is my job to tell you he was a Rookie under Rick Carilise not Larry Brown

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Hasn’t happened for six years.

  • http://sdfjkl.com Jukai

    hahahaha, I like how its BETCATs job to correct stupid people

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com H to the Izzo

    Aren’t me and BETcats the same person?Well according to Hursty…

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    i like how it became Jukai’s job to act like a @sshole towards other commentors!!! i thought i was the only one! Well i have to do my computer applications 2 stuff, so i need to keep this appropiate for young scholars such as myself

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    hursty called me a izzo?

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    complement to me, insult to izzo.

  • Kareem

    He should have been #40.

  • http://www.myspace.com/2536545 Bryan

    Dead.

  • KA

    I’d rate him ten places higher. some dudes called me out for comparing Tay to pip but eff em. out of all the pip wannabes he’s the closest. legit 3 position guy, keeps em honest on offense inside out, defensive minded and all around glue guy. can impact game in way that don’t show up in stats. pip lite if u will.

  • namik

    I would put Tay over Rip Hamilton. Just like Marion was the guy who let the other Suns be themselves, Tay allows the Pistons to d their thing and whats more, doesn’t cry like biotch all the time. He is always there with the much needed shot or highlight reel block to get the Pistons back in the game. And he doesn’t have fake swag which is actually a good thing (SHEEED).

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    KA i see that comparison. Scottie = All Muscle Tay= Skin and bones Scottie = Great player, in NBA 50 all time top player list Tay= #45 on SLAMONLINE’s top players in the L now list. Genius

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    ” And he doesn’t have fake swag which is actually a good thing (SHEEED).” calling sheeds swag fake is like a preacher saying their is no god. Great job namik

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    i have to go to spainish now.

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    “Hursty says:
    Man thats BS if you think that Tay is better than Battier overall. Whatever man.
    sty says:
    Nah, see Izzo can be intelligent sometimes and contribute basketball related post like Betcats, its just that he flies under the radar by not drawing attention to himself as ‘loudly’ as bet does. ”

    I am offened

  • B. Long

    Sheed played like Dirk in the Semi’s last year. Bring the hate.

  • namik

    BET I was talking about his guarantees and subsequent failure to play up to his usual standard. Tayshaun was running around admitting he couldn’t guard LeBron on national TV. That is amazing to me. Swag has to be earned through actions, not words. Gilbert Arenas stand up.

  • KA

    betcats is wise. for my next trick i will be comparing jamal crawford to sleepy floyd.

  • ciolkstar

    Meh. I’d take Monta or JSmoove over him in a flash. Don’t get me wrong he’s a tremendous team player and a jack of all trades, but he underwhelms in clutch situations. That said, he’s be a PERFECT fit for the Spurs. Also, the block on Wedgie from behind is an alltime great moment.

  • B. Long

    @ciolkstar:He’s had some pretty clutch defensive plays.

  • ciolkstar

    No doubt on the clutch defensive plays, and I do think he’s better than Battier (but its close) I’ve just seen him disappear (offensively) in too many crucial playoff games. D is important but you have to score to win.

  • http://sdfjkl.com Jukai

    Namik: Oh yeah, Arenas deffinitely backs up his words with actions, *cough saying the Celtics weren’t that great and that the Wizards would destroy them cough*

  • http://sdfjkl.com Jukai

    Also, the Tayshun Prince/Scottie Pippen comparison would be a damn close valid one if Pippen wasn’t such a better scorer/rebounder/passer/tempo controller/ball thief/one-on-one defensive man/freaking everything else. I think Tayshun can block shots better than Pippen can.

  • Phil B

    We love him for his D, but there’s also this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EGMtbucFD0

  • Fresh

    the people saying that they would Tayshun for defensive purposes are crazy. DEFENSE IS Josh Smith first thing. He came into the league “scouted” as a limited offensive player but a freakish athlete. Then they were saying his defense pretty good because he can defend the wings and the four position. So I am pretty sure that there defense if not the same would be better Josh Smith because of his intimidation factor. If Josh Smith offense is that much better than tayshaun he should be ranked higher

  • tealish

    Whoa, Prince over Josh Smith and Monta Ellis? Come on now. It’s not about who fits on the Lakers or Celtics better… it’s the 50 best players in the lig. Tayshaun Prince is not a better player than Smith or Ellis, despite the fact that I can see a handful of teams needing him more than the other two.

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  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    I love how Jake can do 9021-Kob and this very straight, very solid Tayshaun piece in the same week.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com DP

    I guess Rip is number 24 right? and chauncey is top 15? oh and sheed has to be top ten?

  • http://www.lifehoopsthoughts.blogspot.com the baconator

    Man, frickin school, making me late for every slam post… sigh. Anyways, I used to hate Tayshaun until the Olympics. He’s a really good defender and highly underrated because of all the attention on Sheed, C-Billups, etc. He’s also highly clutch, like with his block on Hedo during the playoffs. Glad to see dude gettin his finally

  • namik

    Was it not clear that I was putting Arenas in the same league with Rasheed as far as running their respective mouths???

  • ciolkstar

    Sheep in the top 10?! Maybe if this list was for the 50 most entertaining NBA players.

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    “Tayshaun was running around admitting he couldn’t guard LeBron on national TV.” namik considering that never happened, i guess it means you are wrong, sort of like Mitt Rommeny telling Al Gore to lose the private jet (al doesnt even own one!!!)

  • ciolkstar

    Sheed* in the top 10?! Maybe if this list was for the 50 most entertaining NBA players.

  • http://sdfjkl.com Jukai

    No, it was not. That’s why I thought I had to correct you.

  • a_whiteman

    no way in hell is battier even close to tayshaun…and i dont understand how so many people can sleep on this guys ability he is a proven winner, stole a starting spot in his rookie season by ripping the playoffs, gives you 10000000% every game, guards the other teams best player, never tries to do to much on offence, know his role shuts his mouth and plays.

  • a_whiteman

    and is EXTREMELY clutch

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com DP

    I was just being sarcastic which I think you knew I was doing, ciolk. I’m just making sure you knew I playing around.

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    DP!

  • B. Long

    That’s what the girls in Mario and Darrell’s hotel room said.

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    what a great 1liner!!

  • http://www.myspace.com/hemantsbeats what

    Tayshaun is not better than Josh Smith.

  • http://www.myspace.com/hemantsbeats what

    lmao @ B Long

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com DP

    BET! I bet they will never take a picture of Arthur on the clouds again. The NBA is so family oriented when they take those pics for the new rookies. Looks like the pictures I took when I was in f*cking 3rd grade. With ponies and sh*t in the background.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com DP

    beat it like a cop, rodney king baby said i beat it like a cop.

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    lol. our school pics are getting taken next week and its gonna be in front of a HUGE american flag

  • B. Long

    I need to school you two young bucks real quick and make sure your listening to L.A.X. right now and L.A.X only! House of Pain, L.A.X. files, and State of Emergency are the tracks that need to be on repeat. Class dismissed.

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    i never listen to just one artist. Even if i did it sure as fu(k wont and never will be LAX. LL and Game’s newest albums are all i am bumping until some new hot sh!t drops.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Man, Prince is one of the most underrated players EVER. He gets almost no credit whatsoever. He deserves to be an all-star every single year, regardless of his low-flash style of play. The dude gets the job done of both ends of the floor, that’s something you can’t ask of most than half of the players in the game today. I would definitely put him higher on this list, but I’m glad SLAM put him up anyways. And make no mistake, the other three members of the Pistons SHOULD be on the top 50 list. They are all good, crunchtime players. And someone above me was comparing Battier to Prince: Both are awesome, solid contributors on both ends of the floor.

  • Mathew

    These defensive stoppers are hard to rank in a top 50 type thing. Tayshaun locks down but when you look at his overall numbers they are not that impressive. Although i would take him over battier i don’t think he warrants top 50. From the Pistons i would say only chauncey and Rip make the top 50. Sheeds numbers have fallen over these last three years and he is just a glorified three point shooter that plays some good team defense.

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    i actually agree with Teddy the Bear for once! but i dont think Sheed belongs on the list for PLAYING because he never uses more than 60-80% of his balling powers unless they are in the finals. The problem is, he needs to use 100% consistantly to assure Detriot gets their

  • davidR

    i’m late, but this was a good read jake. loved the hints of thin throughout the piece

  • scott

    Tayshaun Prince doesn’t belong in the top 50. Of the players ranked so far:
    1. Josh Smith
    2. Marcus Camby
    3. Kevin Martin
    4. Monta Ellis
    5. Kevin Durant
    6. Tayshaun Prince

  • andrej

    should have been maybe 40 or 39th

  • tealish

    My 6 would be,
    1. Smith
    2. Ellis
    3. Martin; Prince
    5. Durant
    6. Camby

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Whatever man. Teddy every single point you mentioned is entirely applicable to Battier as well. Prince is just not a top 50 player in the league imo. He might be actually but hes not more important to team success than the other 5 guys behind him on this list. And they are better players than him as well.

  • KayDoub

    I love this guy. He is unreplaceable in the Pistons, you have Stuckey to fill in for the guards, but where can you find a Prince-type player? I love Battier too, but he’s not as long…either way go Prince!

  • hugh

    Readers of this site, which i do enjoy and frequent, already expect amatuer basketball analysis. You need not bolden the word amatuer with child like and laughable political endeavors. Imagine Ben Wallace teaching you how to shoot threes when he can hardly dunk.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Here you go:
    Ryne Nelson says:
    @TAD: This was the criteria, more or less…
    * 50 best players in the NBA today, right now
    * Guys who provide the most value to their teams
    * Completely, utterly your opinion
    @Jukai: You can look forward to an All-Time list later this season.
    Imo: Battier is more valuable to the rockets ( or was last year, Artest may change things) success than Battier’s. And he’s a better player. Im done on this.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    *than Prince’s sorry.

  • Bruno – Bra

    tayshaun is ok, but i mean JUST ok
    he still have to prove a lot of things and, i don’t know, but i think he “shys” away from the game when it matters.
    i still want to see him using all that wingspan on the offence when rip and sheed are being shut down…
    i would have camby, monta and josh better ranked than him… camby maybe, but the other 2, definitly.
    liked the piece on josh tough. very well and “enjoyable” written

  • Bruno

    tayshaun is ok, but i mean JUST ok
    he still have to prove a lot of things and, i don’t know, but i think he “shys” away from the game when it matters.
    i still want to see him using all that wingspan on the offence when rip and sheed are being shut down…
    i would have camby, monta and josh better ranked than him… camby maybe, but the other 2, definitly.
    liked the piece on josh tough. very well and “enjoyable” written
    =sorry the duplicate entry=

  • mitch

    yes I am loving this tp22 is the best defender in the l right now.

  • tealish

    Mitch: too far.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    Did one of Slam’s writers ever hang out with Ron Artest and his “crew”? They’re talking about it on the radio, I can’t remember if it was SLAM, but the radio guy thought it was.

  • http://antwonomous.blogspot.com Antwonomous

    Prince is an excellent player. Offensively, he could do for a team what Hedo did for the Magic last year – only he’s twice as good a defender. There’s a good chance he’s really better than people like Josh Howard and Caron Butler and we just don’t know it.

  • Mathew

    This list so far has people way to low and people that prolly shouldn’t be crackin the top 50. i have a feeling we are going to see a lot of players that used to be great higher because of what they used to do. Durant by the end of this season could be a top 20 player and was way to low. Kevin Martin gets no pub since he is in Sac and averaging nearly 24 a game gets him 45-50. It also gets a guy who average 13 a game ahead of him. I have Monta at 45 and Josh Smith at 44 so they seem about right. I just hope guys like Rudy Gay and Danny Granger get their just do by being in the top 35.

  • Lucas

    The real top 50 so far…
    50. Mike Dunleavy
    49. Michael Redd
    48. Lamar Odom
    47. Brandon Roy
    46. Kevin Durant
    45. Ron Artest

  • David Brrainard

    I think you are right about the Pistons. They are a team that excels at being a team. But the one you missed was Dice. He completes them. He makes all others the team, as seen in his willingness to come of the bench and produce a starters number. Dice is number 50.5.

  • CL SMOOTH

    He’s better than Josh Howard.

  • http://www.myspace.com/mack_iz_soo_fn_flyy MackSoFLy

    Tayshaun Got a RING, major contributions on a championship team set him apart from battier, j ho, and others like that, Ak-47, and other clones that came after him, add in that gold medal and yall borderline hatin

  • JB Pitts

    after shawn marion, tay is the most underrated in the f*cking league. i dont see kobe or lebron stepping up to guard the other teams best player EVERY SINGLE GAME. hes top 40 if you ask me

  • JB Pitts

    To lucas and matt, any body in indy shouldnt even be in the top 65 or so

  • j smoov

    Tay was averaging 19, 8, and 3 after detroits first like 10 games

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