Against the 76ers, Taurean Prince had a rough start to the second half of the NBA season with a six point performance. Since then, Prince has shredded defense after defense. His scoring off the Cleveland Cavaliers bench has boosted Cleveland’s offense. In turn, the Cavs are beginning to string together some wins.
Prince’s Recent Play
Prince averages 11.3 points per game in his career. On the other hand, his averages are down this year only averaging 9.6 points per contest. Prince is currently on track to approach his career point average. In the past six games, Prince is averaging over 16 points per game. Considering Cleveland is only seven games into the second half of the season, Prince has elevated his play since the All-Star break.
Furthermore, the Cavs’ forward has several monster performances in the past six games. First off, Prince bounced back from his subpar performance against the 76ers. He posted 19 points while shooting over 50% from the floor in Cleveland’s second game after the All-Star break. April 10th versus the Thunder, Prince had 22 points while shooting 60%. The forward then posted a season-high of 25 points against the Hornets Wednesday night. Also, Prince shot a blazing 69.2% and 6/8 from three versus the Hornets. Clearly, Prince’s recent play has been huge.
Taurean Prince off the bench tonight:
25 PTS (11 4th quarter Pts)
— 𝕁 ℂ𝕝𝕖𝕧𝕖𝕝𝕒𝕟𝕕 ☭ (@King0fCleveland) April 15, 2021
In addition, Prince is shooting efficiently during his past six games. Across his career, Prince shoots 41.1% and 37% from three. In the 2020-21 NBA season, he is shooting 39.7% and 40.3% from three. Once again, Prince has elevated his play shooting 49.3% and 50% from three in his past six games. Further, he has 30 three-point attempts in the last six games. This totals to five three-point attempts per game, which is a high volume. Even though he is shooting frequently, Prince has maintained efficient shooting.
Leading to Road Victories
Prince typically comes off the Cleveland bench. His recent scoring has obviously brought a huge boost to bench scoring. In the NBA, having a high-scoring bench is always beneficial. Prince’s elevated bench production is directly influencing the Cavaliers’ game results.
Prince is averaging 20 points in road games since the All-Star break. This has led to a Cleveland 3-1 road record in the second half of the NBA season. The Cavs are in the midst of a three-game road win streak. Cleveland is averaging 119 points per game in their last three away games. Clearly, Prince’s production is a tremendous contribution to Cleveland’s offense. Also, the Cavs are winning by an average of 21.3 points in their last three road games. Cleveland has been lights out on the road due to increased offensive production.
In the remaining schedule, if Prince can just maintain efficient scoring while averaging over 10 points per game this could impact his future in Cleveland. Prince is on an expiring contract as he is set to be a free agent this summer. Of course the Cavs will try to resign Prince if his production continues. However, it is unrealistic to expect Prince to maintain his current production.
Still, just being an efficient double-digit scorer off the bench is enough for Cleveland. They simply need more scoring at the wing position, and Prince is bringing this right now. If Prince’s efficiency continues, it will be interesting to see how Cleveland approaches resigning Prince.
All stats courtesy of ESPN and Basketball-Reference