Tayshaun Prince vs. Luol Deng

Harris Beringer@harrisberingerAnalyst IOctober 26, 2008

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Tayshaun vs. Deng

Tayshaun Durell Prince grew up in Compton, and moved on up, sorta, to Kentucky and now Detroit. This must have hardened him up, since he has a quite a reputation as a durable defensive specialist.  He parlayed this onto a spot on the US Olympic team, and won a gold medal. Clearly, Prince is a glue guy who would be a welcome addition to any other team, right?

A certain Chicago Bull might contest that idea. The Bulls’ starting small forward was once considered one of the top young players in the game, and was part of a proposed trade for Kobe Bryant. However, after one down year, he is now off the radar.  He too has an interesting background. Luol Deng is from Wow, Sudan (which sounds pretty exciting). He was overrated, and his defense is nothing special, right?

Well, maybe Tayshan and Luol are a better pairing than you may think. Check out the numbers first:


Tayshaun: 13.2 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 3.3 APG

  • Has not missed a single game the past five years.
  • His numbers fell last season, but only because he played fewer minutes per game.
  • Tayshaun’s assist/turnover ratio greatly improved last season.
  • Prince has much greater shooting range than Deng.
  • He has been a winner at every level.
  • He has been All-Defensive (2nd) the past four years.


Luol: 17.0 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 2.5 APG

  • He is five years younger.
  • Though his per game numbers fell, this was the result of playing fewer minutes per game. His per 36 minute averages remained almost exactly the same.
  • His team was poorly coached and had no chemistry last year.
  • Deng shoots at a much higher percentage than Tayshaun Prince.
  • Deng’s PER is much higher, while Tayshaun is just average.

In 14 head to head games, each player won 7. Deng, perhaps underrated defensively, has held Prince to 37% shooting. He has drawn two fouls per game from Prince, who normally only fouls about once a game. All evidence points to Deng being underrated, and Prince being supported by some reputation that he has never earned.

Who would you rather have by your side?

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