Prince humbled, worked on defense in D-League stint

It might be Taurean Prince’s turn to play in the NBA Development League one night and the NBA the next.

Fellow rookie DeAndre Bembry did it earlier this season. The Hawks recalled Prince, along with Mike Scott, from a D-League assignment with the Long Island Nets. They were both in Dallas Saturday ahead of the Hawks game against the Mavericks after playing the previous day.

The Hawks traded Kyle Korver, a deal completed on Saturday, and Bembry had to leave the team for personal reasons after a death in the family.

“We were happy with Taurean to get all the minutes and that opportunity,” coach Mike Budenholzer said. “I think there is a good chance we’ll need him tonight. He’ll go from playing in a D-League game last night to playing in an NBA game tonight. That’s what we talked to him about. When you play those minutes it better prepares you to contribute and be in a good place tonight.”

Prince played four games for the Long Island Nets on the assignment. He averaged 21.8 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.5 steals in 29.8 minutes.

Prince called the assignment a “humbling experience.” He said the Hawks wanted him to focus on his off-the-ball defense. He certainly proved he could score.

“We are in the NBA because we can score,” Prince said. “We’ve all showed an ability to do that in one point of time. I think one of the big things to get better at and my main focus was defensively, not necessarily on the ball but off the ball. Being in the right spots, playing team defense and trying to get better.”

Prince has appeared in 20 games for the Hawks and averaged 3.4 points and 2.0 rebounds in 10.0 minutes.