While the Pacers have a couple of off days, I felt like taking some time to profile a player that I think can be something big to this roster. Originally drafted, and through some of last year, I had my doubts about Lance Stephenson, but my opinion is slowly turning now that I’ve actually watched him play.
That’s been the key thing for me, keeping my eyes on Lance as he plays. And while watching him, there are those signs that this guy can really see the floor. There’s been passes where I wasn’t even sure how he got it to the open man. Stephenson is actually getting a lot more playing time than I expected, and that’s helped his development.
I think with him, you need to put him out there and see what he can do. Larry Bird, President of the Pacers, has stated a few times how talented this guy is. Even back in June of last year Bird said how he might be the most talented guy on the Pacers Roster. Therefore, if the President of the team is saying that, you better listen.
The downfall with Stephenson is mainly the attitude and immaturity. There were signs last year that he wasn’t ready to be playing. There was even the rumor that he started yelling at teammates in the locker room after a loss. There was an arrest, and just the general idea that he wasn’t grown up. For a guy with the nickname “Born Ready”, you would have to question if Stephenson was ready for this NBA team.
But this year, so far, there’s not been any trouble with Stephenson, and his playing time has gone up. He scored twelve points in a game against Atlanta, a career high. He looks for teammates, and tries to defend as well as he can. That might be a downfall to his game as well. He seems to get beat off the dribble by players, and will have to improve upon that.
But if all things go well, and Bird can stay in his ear about being a grownup, this guy could be something. Maybe taking an active part in the community will help build his image up. Ultimately, it will come down to what he’s doing on the court. If he can become a team player, and improve upon his shooting, then Lance will be around for the Pacers. I think at this rate, if Bird believes in him this much, then he deserves a shot to show what he can do.