Seven Ways Taurean Prince Has Shown Growth In 2018-19
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Story by KL Chouinard
1) Taurean might have been the most valuable three-point shooter on the Hawks.
Among players with enough attempts to qualify, Prince ranked 32nd in the NBA – and first on the Hawks – in three-point percentage: 39.0 percent. He made 123 of his 316 attempts, with his 123 makes tying him for third-most on the Hawks.
Prince was especially good in the corners, where he made 51 of his 118 attempts (43.2 percent).
2) Taurean set career highs in shooting percentages.
In making the aforementioned 39.0 percent of his three-pointers, Prince set a career-high mark. But he also set a career-high mark on shooting two-pointers: 44.1 percent.
Prince said that his approach was not to obsess over the numbers as they played out over the course of the season.
"I do a good job of not looking at that stuff. They are what they are. At the end of the day, you've still got to do a job. There's really no point to worrying about that type of stuff."
3) Taurean unlocked some the best offensive lineups.
The Hawks had a total of 74 three-player combinations that shared the floor for 150 or more minutes in the 2018-19 season. Of those lineups, the one that had John Collins rolling to the rim and Prince and Kevin Huerter spacing the floor posted the best offensive rating: 113.1 points per 100 possessions in 514 minutes played. Point guard Trae Young performed like a player many years his elder in his rookie season, and that success was amplified when he had his best offensive counterparts around him.
4) Taurean scored 28 points in just 23 minutes when the Hawks visited Memphis in October.
5) Taurean, in his own words, on what he will work on this summer
"I've got me a little sheet right here," Prince quipped, motioning to an individualized handout Lloyd Pierce made for each of his Hawks pupils. "Obviously, it's nothing different from what I have continued to try to work on (since) transferring from a forward to a guard my junior year of college: ballhandling, decision-making, being more active without the ball, being more open, being more of an outlet for my teammates. Obviously, with better health, I'll be a better defender. I'll be able to move the way I want to. To be honest, I think it's going to be the same answer every year that I'm in the league."
6) Taurean posted a career-low turnover percentage:
In his first two seasons, Prince had turnover percentages of 15.7 and 15.3 percent, respectively. This season, in his first year in head coach Lloyd Pierce's offense, the 25-year-old dropped that number to 13.4 percent.
7) Taurean, on sorting out his role:
"I think I've found my niche in the league and that's just playing defense, getting a bucket when needed, hitting open shots, being a great teammate, and just being that tough presence for the team and not allowing other teams to think they can walk all over us and disrespect us."