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View Full Version : Stephenson, Pacers rookies out to prove themselves



90'sNBARocked
10-08-2010, 04:04 PM
http://www.usatoday.com/sports/basketball/nba/2010-10-07-1968146890_x.htm
By Cliff Brunt, AP Sports Writer


INDIANAPOLIS — Lance Stephenson got off to the wrong kind of start with Pacers fans.
Indiana's second-round draft pick was arrested in August in New York on assault, menacing and harassment charges. Prosecutors said he pushed his girlfriend down a flight of stairs, then grabbed her and hit her head on the bottom step.

The Pacers' preseason home game Friday against the Orlando Magic offers Stephenson his first chance to show fans the enormous talent that led team president Larry Bird to select him despite his legal troubles.

"I'd like to prove to everybody that I work hard, and I'm trying to get better every day on the court," Stephenson said after Thursday's practice. "I just want to show everybody that I'm very talented and that I'm ready to win."

After a string of off-court woes for Pacers players in recent years, Stephenson reminded fans of what they had hoped to leave behind. These are fans, after all, who have openly booed their own players who get in trouble with the law <emdash /> Stephen Jackson and Jamaal Tinsley the best examples in recent years.

Stephenson, who has an Oct. 19 court date, knows it will be a challenge to win them over.

"I'm just trying to move forward, get on the right track, make sure everybody on the team is happy, and especially the people off the court, like my fans and the Pacers fans," he said.

Stephenson dominated the Orlando Summer League, but coach Jim O'Brien said the 20-year-old's conditioning has suffered because he has spent so much time dealing with his case.

"The situation that he found himself in hurt him from a standpoint of continuing development from the summer league," O'Brien said recently. "For me to say anything other than that would be misleading. That being said, I think he is a talent that is at a level that people will be very, very surprised at."
Stephenson played 12 minutes in Wednesday's 87-85 loss at Memphis, scoring 4 points on 1-for-4 shooting as a reserve.

He joins first-round selection Paul George and second-round pick Magnum Rolle in a rookie class that O'Brien has praised for its athletic ability.

Rolle, a 6-foot-11 forward, averaged 13.9 points and 8.4 rebounds for Louisiana Tech last season and led the Western Athletic Conference with 2.1 blocks per game. He went 0-for-3 from the field and did not score in eight minutes against the Grizzlies.

George averaged 17 points and 7 rebounds as a sophomore at Fresno State last season. He played 26 minutes against Memphis, and said he had to adjust quickly because the NBA game presents new challenges.

"Not necessarily faster, but there's a lot more thought process in it," he said. "Guys are stronger, more physical."

He finished with 4 points on 2-for-9 shooting.

"I'm excited," he said. "I thought I played well despite not knocking down the shots that I wanted to. I think that will come as I get my legs and get the feel of the game flow."

Nice to get some national recognition on our rookies

90'sNBARocked
10-08-2010, 04:32 PM
Does anyone think he might have a strong game in his first pre-season game?

I got a feeling he might

Anthem
10-08-2010, 04:52 PM
Does anyone think he might have a strong game in his first pre-season game?

I got a feeling he might
Um... he already played in his first preseason game.

And it wasn't strong.

Will Galen
10-08-2010, 05:11 PM
Um... he already played in his first preseason game.

And it wasn't strong.

(Giggle, giggle, snort)

90'sNBARocked
10-08-2010, 06:02 PM
Um... he already played in his first preseason game.

And it wasn't strong.

Sorry I meant first home game

pacer4ever
10-08-2010, 11:21 PM
Does anyone think he might have a strong game in his first pre-season game?

I got a feeling he might

he looked really good 2nite judgeing him on D mostly but im happy with wat he did 2nite.

Day-V
10-08-2010, 11:32 PM
Lance definitely can score. But watching him tonight, Lance is most definitely a SG.

His defense.......yeeeeeeesh.

pacer4ever
10-08-2010, 11:45 PM
Lance definitely can score. But watching him tonight, Lance is most definitely a SG.

His defense.......yeeeeeeesh.

i ask him after the game and he said "i think i will play both"

but i agree on D he should guard 2s but on offnse he can play both


his D looked a lot bette 2nite i think

McKeyFan
10-09-2010, 12:57 PM
Lance definitely can score. But watching him tonight, Lance is most definitely a SG.

His defense.......yeeeeeeesh.

I watched him. He wasn't that bad. He actually played excellent defense a couple of times and the announcers mentioned it.

Sure, Nelson juked him once, but that's not enough to declare his entire defensive performance last night as terrible.

imawhat
10-09-2010, 01:15 PM
Lance's defense last night was much better than what we were seeing in the scrimmage clips.

If we're picking on a rookie's defense it should be Paul's. He was much worse.

MLB007
10-10-2010, 02:56 AM
I think Lances jumper looks MUCH improved.
THat's hopeful.

NuffSaid
10-11-2010, 10:23 AM
Clearly, it's going to take time before any of our rookies get a good feel for the game at the NBA level. I don't think guy slike Kobe or even MJ came out and proved their "star power" their first year in. It takes time.

Lance could become a very good PG, but right now I think he'd better serve the Pacers if he played more at SG. Problem here is he'll have to be patient because I really don't think he'll get many opportunities to show what he's made of this year (that's assuming his legal problems allow him to remain w/the team).

I haven't seen much from Paul George so far, not even in pre-season play. I'm still waiting for this #10 draft pick to show he was worth it. He sound eager enough to continue to learn and develop; I just haven't seen those "natural instints" kick in yet, but once they do and he stops thinking his way through games but instead just feels his way to it, I think he'll start doing what we hear players do - "let the game come to him". George needs to find his comfort level. Until he's able to do that he will continue to struggle.

MLB007
10-11-2010, 11:18 AM
Lance's defense last night was much better than what we were seeing in the scrimmage clips.

If we're picking on a rookie's defense it should be Paul's. He was much worse.

What games are you watching???????? :censored: :p

bphil
10-11-2010, 11:22 AM
Clearly, it's going to take time before any of our rookies get a good feel for the game at the NBA level. I don't think guy slike Kobe or even MJ came out and proved their "star power" their first year in. It takes time.

MJ averaged 28.2/6.5/5.9 in his rookie season with the Bulls. Having said that though, he's definitely the exception to the rule. PG will be fine, but it will probably take a couple of years for him to reach the point where the pro game feels natural to him and he can play without thinking. You can tell he's thinking right now, and thinking is the worst thing you can do on a basketball court.