It has not been the season the Los Angeles Lakers envisioned after a summer filled with good signings on paper. One of those is Taurean Prince, who signed on the bi-annual exception and is now a prominent starter.
Prince has played 42 out of 45 possible games, starting every game he has played, while providing reliable 3-point shooting at 38.5% on 5.5 attempts. The 29-year-old is averaging a career-high 30.7 minutes and draws a sizable workload whenever he is on the court, but he was given a game off on Sunday against the Portland Trail Blazers due to left knee soreness.
He returned on Tuesday against the L.A. Clippers and went right back to play high minutes, playing 33 and scoring 11 points on 4-for-10 from the field and 2-for-6 from 3. Prince was asked about his knee and admitted it was nothing serious.
“I’m fine, just needed some time,” Prince said.
Injuries have been a concern for the Lakers, although in recent months the team has been healthy but simply cannot stack wins and consistent performances. To turn things around, Prince stresses that everyone needs to be on the same page on both sides of the floor.
“All be one the same page, all know what we’re doing and execute,” he said. “I think playing through AD on the post has been good for us and then we just got to knock down shots and rotate and get stops.”
The veteran forward is onto something as the purple and gold have had their moments of miscommunications, specifically on the defensive end. If the Lakers even want a chance to compete for a championship, every player needs to know what to do to be connected as a unit.
Defense has been the calling card for L.A. through the recent years, especially during the 2019-20 season when they ranked No. 1 defensively, leading to a championship. Head coach Darvin Ham openly admitted that he is a defensive-minded coach and wants to embrace that side of the floor.
Through the recent struggles, the team lacked communication on defense and that lead to multiple breakdowns. During the In-Season Tournament, that version of the Lakers were connected on both sides of the floor, especially on defense and that level of execution needs to return and Prince is stressing it.
Taurean Prince feels more valued with Lakers than anywhere else in career
The Lakers are now the fifth team Prince has been on in his career, which coming into this situation prompted an opportunity to win a championship. Now playing high minutes and a prominent starter, Prince admits that he feels more valued with L.A. than anywhere else in his career.
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