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, all the time

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We've now reached the first match-up which may be debated by some people. Personally, I don't think it's up for debate, but there are plenty of Pistons' fans who would make an argument, and I'm sure the ESPN folk would as well. Here are the links to the other positions: PG, C, PF.

After the jump we'll dive right into the stats and analysis.
The Stats

Andre Iguodala

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Tayshaun Prince

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Season Stats: The one area that I thought Tayshaun would have an edge in is three-point shooting. Turns out, they're just about even. Statistically, Iguodala blows Prince's doors off in every other category. Of course, quantifying defense by basic statistics is usually impossible, but according to the stats, there is no comparison between these two players, Iguodala is superior. They do play very different roles for their teams, though. Prince is, at best, the #4 option on offense for his team. Iguodala is #1 for the Sixers.

Head-To-Head: Both players pretty much hit their season averages. The telling thing about the head-to-head stats is the adjustment Prince's defense forced in Iguodala's game. Andre's field goal percentage was well below his season average, but he made up for the scoring by hitting for a better percentage from three (where Prince gave him more open looks, basically daring him to shoot it) and also by getting to the line more often.

When Philadelphia Has The Ball

Even though Prince is a superior defender with an unbelievable wingspan, Iguodala has been able to maintain his scoring against him. Andre has a strength and quickness advantage on Prince and he's going to have to continue to use it. Prince will hurt his mid-range game the most, with his ability to challenge jumpers. The key may be three point shooting. If Iguodala can knock down his open threes it will force Prince to close out on him aggressively, meaning Andre will be going to the hoop, and the foul line, all night long.

When Detroit Has The Ball

Prince's offense is often an afterthought. Again, I think this is a mistake on Flip Saunders' part, but it's not the only one. He'll shoot threes from the corner if someone leaves him to double. If he has a size mismatch he'll try to back his guy down into the lane and hit his lefty baby hook. He has the ability to score in bunches, but as I said before, he's the fourth option. He usually plays pretty well against the Sixers, so I'd expect him to score in the mid-twenties at least one time during the series, most likely in a Detroit win.

The Advantage

There is a debate going on about this one, but I don't think it's a fair debate. Prince has never been asked to carry the load offensively. He's never been "the guy." He's never really been a team's second option on offense. He's usually an efficient scorer, but he's under-utilized. His defense is superb, but as I said above, he hasn't really stopped Iguodala, or really even slowed down his scoring (Andre hit his season averages in points on the same number of FG attempts against the Pistons this season). Iguodala's defense is superb as well, and he will spend time on Rip Hamilton as well during the game. Prince is a fine player in a favorable situation on a very good team, surround him with the talent level Andre has been surrounded by and he won't perform to the same level. The advantage hear is clearly to the Sixers, as far as I'm concerned.

Up next: Garbage Time vs. Rip