Kuester, Prince moving on from incident
Prince and Kuester got into a shouting match during a fourth quarter timeout Friday in a lopsided loss the Pacers. Kuester had just sent four reserves to check in the game, which the Pistons trailed by 23, when a timeout was called.
Prince began shouting at Kuester, who fired back before going back into the huddle to give instructions to the players going into the game.
“It was nothing that was out of the ordinary,” Kuester said. “He expressed a couple thoughts and I expressed a couple thoughts. That was it.”
Kuester chalked the moment up to emotions and said more was made of the incident then needed to be.
“This is a passionate game,” Kuester said. “You’ve got to play this game with emotion. Emotions do carry over sometimes, but you’ve got to be poised also. You’ve got to understand how you need to express that emotion, whether it be in a game or practice. Hey, listen, you’d rather have guys that want to win, and that’s what I know Tayshaun wants to do is win.”
Kuester said him and Prince spoke before Saturday’s game and everything was fine going forward.
“We just talked about what it’s going to take for us to win. That’s all that matters,” Kuester said. “You know what? This is an emotional game and we’ve just got to make sure we understand what it’s going to take to win basketball games, but I’ll tell you, Tayshaun understands what needs to be done.”
Prince refused to comment on the situation after Friday’s game and was not available for comment before Saturday’s game, which is not uncommon. Prince traditionally does not talk before games.
Friday’s game was Prince’s first back from a left knee injury that kept him out of six games. Prince had seven points, six rebounds and three assists in 24 minutes in the loss to the Pacers and admitted they will continue to monitor his minutes as he recovers from the injury.
“It’s a situation where you got to ease into this,” Prince said after Friday’s loss. “I had a good span in the second quarter where I played a lot of minutes and got my wind going real good and things felt OK. For the most part I think it will build as the games keep coming.”
Difficult to deal
The more the Pistons struggle, the more trade rumors seem to heat up. Most of the rumors are just that rumors, but one name that is constantly brought up is Richard Hamilton.
The odds of Hamilton going anywhere are pretty low at least according to Tom Ziller of Fanhouse.com. Ziller named Hamilton the fourth most difficult player to trade.
“Hamilton’s contract would have expired in 2010, but (Joe) Dumars decided to tack on additional three years at $34 million guaranteed ... for no apparent reason other than he wanted to prove everyone the Pistons weren't waving a white flag by swapping Chauncey Billups and Antonio McDyess for Allen Iverson,” Ziller wrote.
“Age is clearly catching up with Hamilton — this season and last have been his worst as a Piston, and he turns 32 in February. He could start for a handful of teams, but you could get a much better player on the open market for what Detroit's paying Rip.”
Ziller named Gilbert Arenas, Baron Davis and Elton Brand as the three most difficult players to trade.
Charlie Villanueva has been up and down offensively for the Pistons this season and it’s clear Detroit is a better team when Villanueva is scoring. The Pistons are 5-1 when Villanueva scores more than 20 points this season. Villanueva had just three points in Friday’s loss to the Pacers and was just 1 for 9 from the field.
“It was tough because we wanted to get him going, especially early on,” Kuester said. “We have a lot of confidence in his offensive decisions. When he’s struggling it just put us in a huge hole. That happens at times.”
Piston guard Ben Gordon (strained right groin) missed his seventh straight game and Will Bynum (left ankle sprain) missed his 13th straight game.
The Blazers were without Brandon Roy (right hamstring), Jerryd Bayless (left ankle), Greg Oden (left knee), Joel Przybilla (right knee), Travis Outlaw (left foot) and Nicolas Batum (right shoulder) Saturday night.