Taurean Prince: Lakers Are Trying To Prove They Belong In Tough Western Conference
Taurean Prince, Lakers, Thunder
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers have had an up and down season although they find themselves in a nice groove as of late. A player that is trying to find his way out of a similar slump is Taurean Prince, whose 3-point shooting is needed for L.A. to continue this hot streak.

As the purple and gold are playing some tough competition in this six-game homestand, being able to keep up offensively with their opponents is instrumental. That was the case in Monday’s win against an Oklahoma City Thunder team that averages 120.9 points a contest, the most in the Western Conference.

However, the Lakers’ offense was clicking more than the Thunder and Prince contributed 14 points, 12 of those points being from the 3-point line. The 29-year-old talked about the compact conference as L.A. continues to climb the standings to get into the top-six.

“That’s what it’s about,” Prince said. “I think, shoot, for the past five-six years, the West has been, I think the best conference. Just trying to continue to prove that we belong at the top where we want to be. And it starts with one game at a time. So we’re just trying to accumulate them.”

To be able to hold Oklahoma City to 104 points is a significant accomplishment and also one of the best defensive performances of the season for the Lakers. Prince shared that he believed everyone was on the same page when it came to rotations and covering up mistakes.

“I mean, from his perspective, he was probably seeing a lot more than I was being in the game at times,” he said. “But I definitely think that he hit home and we were covering all bases tonight as far as rotations and then when one guy messed up, the other one picked them up. So it was good. It was a good game.”

Cleaning up the glass was also a point of emphasis, specifically on the offensive glass and limiting opponents to one shot. L.A. outrebounded Oklahoma City 55 to 38, and Prince knew that to keep the Thunder at bay depended on keeping them off the boards.

“It’s been a point of emphasis to definitely keep those guys off the boards,” Prince said. “They play fast. So a lot of bodies moving around, especially when a shot goes up. You got a lot of guys crashing from the corners in different areas. So being attentive to that and making sure we kept them off the glass was key.”

Prince has not been in double figures since Feb. 22, so for him to be able to finally get on the right of things felt good after a rough stretch of games.

“It felt good,” he said. “I’m an even keel type of guy. So just taking the bad with the good and hoping the good outweighs the bad. In any given night, it can be anybody’s night. I just know that OKC gives up a lot of 3s with their defense. So it was a chance for me to take advantage and it may be different next game, who knows.”

LeBron James and Anthony Davis need as many contributors as possible to aid them in this postseason push and being able to have Prince and others step up will go a long way.

Taurean Prince believes playing with second unit allowed him to be more aggressive

Head coach Darvin Ham played with lineups and rotations for a good chunk of the season and one of those changes was Prince moving to the bench. While some may few it as a demotion, Prince believes playing with the second unit allows him to be more aggressive.

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