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- After coming off the bench Friday night in his first game with the Grizzlies, forward Tayshaun Prince will make his first start since being acquired from the Detroit Pistons last week in the three-team trade that sent Rudy Gay to Toronto. Prince scored 14 points in his Memphis debut on 7 of 11 shooting, including hitting is first three jumpers. Still, it was a little different playing for a new team after 10-plus seasons in Detroit. “The trade does make you rejuvenated a little bit, bring some energy back in your legs,” Prince said. “Even my family was saying you look different out there. Of course, I look different. I’ve got a different jersey on. But when you get traded, you’ve just got to try to take it up a notch. It was just a fun night for game one and hopefully I can carry it over into tonight’s game.” While Prince will start, the team’s two other newcomers that were acquired in the trade, forwards Ed Davis and Austin Daye, will look for playing time off the bench. All three players spend the last two days learning the team’s defensive principles and offensive sets. “They have a high basketball IQ,” Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins said. “That’s important. But it’s still new and it’s still going to be difficult. They’re still going to forget.”
- Phoenix interim coach Lindsey Hunter is 3-4, which includes a 2-0 start, since taking over for Alvin Gentry on Jan. 20. It is Hunter’s first experience as a coach, but he’s enjoying the challenge. “It’s been quite enjoyable,” Hunter said. “This is what I live to do. I’m learning new stuff every single day and embracing the challenge and getting the guys to work hard. That’s basically what it’s all about.”
- With Tony Allen moving back to his starting two-guard spot, guard Jerryd Bayless will resume his backup to both Mike Conley and Allen. Hollins said that could limit the time of rookie point guard Tony Wroten.
– By Marlon W. Morgan