Taurean Prince helps the Brooklyn Nets in multiple facets of the game. His play allows for his teammates to maneuver the floor easily.
Not too long ago, Brooklyn Nets basketball returned excitement and joy to the lives of Nets fans.
The home opener against the Minnesota Timberwolves was exhilarating. It would be easy for one to overlook some of the nuances throughout the night with all the excitement of the new-look team.
Within all the beautiful chaos of the night and the first few games, I noticed something.
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As we all should know by now, Taurean Prince got a two-year contract extension from Sean Marks and the Brooklyn Nets. With that, Taurean Prince would have the main duty of spacing the floor. With the shooting ability that he has, he’ll definitely be able to do that.
With his floor spacing, players such as Kyrie Irving, Caris LeVert, and Kevin Durant (when he returns) will all benefit from having a shooter of Taurean Prince’s caliber. It is these kinds of shooters that allow Kyrie Irving to operate the way he does, but with more ease.
I mean, it’s hard to help off a player who is a career 38 percent 3-point shooter. Not to mention, he’s coming off a scorching hot preseason, easily shooting over 60 percent from the field and from the three.
Generally, NBA players that space the floor are thought to help slashers and players who can penetrate a defense. But the player who may benefit the most from Taurean Prince’s shooting ability is none other than the reigning 3-point shootout champ, Joe Harris.
In the first half of our home opener, Taurean Prince was quiet, laying a goose egg in the scoring section of the box sheet. Harris was not much better in this same span, missing his only two shots of the half.
But when the third quarter began, Taurean Prince came out hot. All 15 of his points were gained in the third quarter. Joe Harris joined in with 8 points on 3-of-4 shooting in this same quarter.
By this time, the defense was completely focused on both Prince and Irving. Joe Harris would end the game with 14 points, but he didn’t seem to really start finding open shots until the defense started gravitating Prince’s way.
Now, of course, it’s only one game. Of course, it could just be coincidence or happenstance, and you’d be right in stating these as possibilities.
With that being understood, I do implore you to remember the playoffs against the Philadelphia 76ers. The Sixers defense made it extremely difficult for Joe Harris to comfortably find open looks.
It didn’t help that he had hit a cold spell during this span either. But his 19 percent shooting from behind the arc goes beyond just a cold spell. The 76ers were able to play stifling defense, crowding him off screens because he was honestly our most reliable 3-point shooter.
LeVert was hot from beyond, but since coming to the NBA, he hasn’t been able to recreate his college success from three consistently. D’Angelo Russell would probably have been our next best 3-ball shooter after Joe Harris, but he was being suffocated by Ben Simmons for much of the series while he did a majority of the ball handling.
Outside of that, everyone else was average from beyond the arc at best and had a tendency to be streaky. So in an offense that relied heavily on threes, you remove the best two shooters, then it’s no wonder we struggled so mightily.
With Prince here, teams will be hard-pressed to remove Harris from the game due to the fact that Prince brings a lot of the same things to the table as Harris.
That, coupled with Caris LeVert’s ability to penetrate and Kyrie’s ability to shoot from beyond as well, opponents may need to go back to the defensive drawing board.