AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – Austin Daye’s physique has always drawn comparisons to Tayshaun Prince.
It only took the Detroit Pistons rookie from Gonzaga two quarters to bring Prince’s most famous moment to mind.
In the second quarter of Detroit’s 87-83 preseason victory over Miami, Daye ran down Dwyane Wade to block what appeared to be an uncontested layup – a play similar to Prince’s game-winning block of Indiana’s Reggie Miller in the 2004 playoffs.
“That was one of the greatest blocks of all time, and I know, because I was here,” said Pistons coach John Kuester, one of Larry Brown’s assistants as the Pistons won the 2004 title. “This one was obviously in a different environment, but it still shows what kind of player Austin can be.”
Wade was the first to congratulate Daye and later joked with Prince about it during a stoppage in play.
“He told me ‘nice hustle’ after I blocked it,” Daye said. “I had just turned the ball over, so I was trying to make up for it by getting back on defense. I guess Detroit is the perfect environment for the fans to appreciate a play like that.”
Daye’s play highlighted a successful night for the new-look Pistons. Ben Wallace, returning after three seasons away, scored Detroit’s first points on a put-back dunk, and newcomers Ben Gordon and Chris Wilcox both scored 11 points.
“This is a work in progress, and we’ve only had 10 practices,” said Kuester, Detroit’s new coach. “Still, no matter what the situation is, you want to win games.”
The game was worked by replacement officials, who had some struggles, but Kuester said, “I thought (they) did a good job. … This was their first preseason game, too.”