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  • Tayshaun Prince returns to The Palace for the first time since the longtime Pistons forward was dealt to Memphis late last month. “I’m sure there will be a lot of emotions for him,” Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins said. “After 11 1/2 years in one uniform, going into the same locker room and coming to the arena the same way, he’ll have a lot of memories and thoughts of the successes they’ve had here, the championship and the conference finals. It will be all of that, I’m sure.” During the morning shootaround, Prince said the transition hasn’t been as severe as he expected. “The only thing that felt different was my first game in Memphis,” he said. “When I ran out that tunnel, I was like, ‘This doesn’t feel right.’ I’m pretty sure it will feel different tonight.”
  • The Pistons have made big strides defensively, ranking No. 10 in defensive field-goal percentage and sixth in 3-point defense. But coach Lawrence Frank said there’s huge room for improvement. “We must defend the paint better,” he said. “We’re 28th in points in the paint defensively and we give up too many transition points and layups. Our decision-making has to improve in terms of our turnover-to-assist ratio and we’re 23th in defensive rebounding percentage.”
  • The trade deadline isn’t a cause for great concern for Detroit because there haven’t been many rumors about the Pistons making a significant move. “It’s one thing when your name is always in the paper but no one’s in the paper,” Frank said. “There’s certain high-profile guys that have been talked about for awhile and now it’s the final closing. There’s always a little anxiety but the way (president of basketball operations) Joe (Dumars) handles things, it relieves some of that anxiety that the players feel.”

Dana Gauruder

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