In one of the biggest headlines of the season, the Memphis Grizzlies dealt Rudy Gay to the Toronto Raptors. In return they received Tayshaun Prince, whom many were skeptical about replacing their former All-Star caliber forward. However, he's had quite an effect on the team thus far.
The Grizzlies are 8-2 since acquiring Prince. While the general consensus was that the team would head into a sort of rebuilding mode, they have in fact remained just as competitive.
While the majority of the wins have come against end-of-the-road teams like Sacramento, Detroit, Orlando and Washington, the Grizzlies have managed victories over the likes of Brooklyn and Golden State.
Nevertheless, Prince has had a remarkable all-around effect on the team thus far.
With Prince on offense, the Grizzlies score 95.5 points on 48.8 percent shooting per 48 minutes. When he's on the bench their numbers drop to 87.4 points on 39 percent in the same bracket of per-48 minute statistics. In a points per 100 possessions context, there is a vast contrast between the 106.9 with Prince and the 92.6 without him.
Defensively, Memphis allows just 91.7 points per 100 possessions with Prince in the game. While their season average is 89.6 opponent-points per game, Prince's presence is not a far cry from this. However as he heads to the bench, the Grizzlies permit 107.1 points per 100 possessions.
While this is a basic statistical analysis, the repercussions of Prince's arrival are evident by simply watching the team. His three-point shot is solid at 40 percent, although he is not a high-volume shooter. However, opponents must guard him regardless because he can make those shots. Prince also has great ball-handling for someone his size, thus making his efforts on offense much easier.
As aforementioned, you cannot derive a player's effectiveness just based on numbers. You can, however, hone in on the Grizzlies' seven-game win streak and point to Prince's effectiveness.
Memphis was already a great team, and while Prince doesn't level up to Gay, he is having a spectacular effect on the rotation.