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View Full Version : Wells: Stephenson must show Pacers growth, in play and maturity



pacer4ever
12-24-2011, 04:14 AM
http://www.indystar.com/article/20111224/SPORTS04/112240327/1062/SPORTS04
Growth.

That's the word that has been most commonly used when talking about Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson.

Stephenson's talent has never been questioned. He easily would have been a first-round pick in the 2010 NBA draft if that was all that mattered. The question surrounding Stephenson has been about his maturity.

But after a rookie season he spent primarily planted on the bench, the Pacers have seen a significant growth in his play and maturity.

"He's definitely grown from last year on and off the court," veteran Jeff Foster said. "The thing that will make me the most impressed is if he can continue to grow from where he is now, on and off the court. We'll see. Hopefully, this is a big year for him."

Pacers President Larry Bird likes Stephenson's talent so much that he called the New York City product the team's "best player" at the end of last season.

Better than Danny Granger, Paul George or Darren Collison.

Stephenson's standoffish attitude last season often overshadowed what he could do on the court. He had a run-in with some teammates in a game in Houston in March, then was demoted to the fourth point guard after he violated team rules in April.

Stephenson, who averaged 3.1 points and 1.8 assists in 12 games, started taking the necessary steps toward improving in the needed areas when he spent the majority of the NBA lockout in Indianapolis instead of New York, where trouble could easily pop up. There haven't been signs of a relapse from Stephenson, who admitted his shortcomings in an interview over the summer.

"He's clowning around a lot less, which is helpful in practice," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. "His interaction with his teammates is solid. He's not pointing fingers and making faces like he did last year. We've seen a lot of maturation from him this year."

Stephenson averaged almost 11 minutes in the two preseason games, totaling three assists, three rebounds and six points.

"I thought he played within himself on most possessions, which is probably the biggest area he has to improve in," Vogel said. "And then growing on the defensive end, being in the right spots all the time."

Stephenson has tried to tone down his game on the court, trading in flashy, street ball-type passes for the simple, safe pass.

"Last year I used to force stuff," Stephenson said. "I see now if you make the simple pass, it matters more."

The Pacers would like to get Stephenson on the court this season, but playing time could be hard to come by since the guard spots are the deepest positions on the roster. Stephenson is behind Darren Collison and George Hill at point guard and Paul George, Hill and Dahntay Jones at shooting guard.

"I'm trying to get on the floor, so I'm going to stay as focused as possible," Stephenson said. "I feel much smarter. I'm just trying to get better every day. It's easier this year because I know what to expect out there."

bold parts are key for me. If Lance ever wants to amount to anything the bold parts need to become reality. especially making the smart play opposed to the hero play. Lebron still has trouble with that in his game so I doubt it will ever go away but it can drastically improve. He needs to pass to make smart plays not just pass to get an assist.

3 8 thee great t h
12-24-2011, 04:23 AM
I think he will continue to mature and become a major steal for us...I know that he's young and has a lot of maturing to do I think that he has a will to wanna be great which outweighs everything else but I'm not lance so idk just saying he might be another good point guard from the pacers

D-BONE
12-24-2011, 06:22 AM
I hope LS becomes a great guard for us - a great SHOOTING GUARD.

McKeyFan
12-24-2011, 07:20 AM
Foster already sounds like a coach or a gm.

Major Cold
12-24-2011, 09:08 AM
Talk is cheap. Let's see it on the court. PR piece in its finest. Maybe he has grown up, but to think that he is anything more than a rotational player is wishful thinking.

Maybe he turns a corner defensively, I have no clue.

owl
12-24-2011, 09:38 AM
Gotta walk the walk and not just talk the talk. Until then it means little to nothing.
I hope Clark is in his ear regularly. He needs a good role model and a change in the heart.

BlueNGold
12-24-2011, 10:10 AM
I hope LS becomes a great guard for us - a great SHOOTING GUARD.

Well, I hope you're ok with him playing PG, because that's where the Pacers are going to use him.

DrFife
12-24-2011, 10:37 AM
Gotta walk the walk and not just talk the talk. Until then it means little to nothing.
I hope Clark is in his ear regularly. He needs a good role model and a change in the heart.

Well, as long as he doesn't get Lance all worked up with talk about taking fruit from the tree of penetration.

Pacergeek
12-24-2011, 10:38 AM
I hope LS becomes a great guard for us - a great SHOOTING GUARD.

Why would you play our best passer at SG?

imbtyler
12-24-2011, 10:51 AM
I'm more than excited to see how Lance pans out, just like Paul. As long as he stays in the right mind, he can be great. We just need to understand that some players don't develop into greatness for 3-4 years; Arron Afflalo, Carl Landry, Rodney Stuckey, Nick Young, Wilson Chandler were drafted in 2007, and they were all heavily-coveted players this 'offseason'. DeAndre Jordan, Ryan Anderson, JJ Hickson, Goran Dragic, Courtney Lee (just to mention a few) were drafted in '08, and are on track to be high-quality players, and cornerstones for their respective teams.

All I'm saying is that we still need to give Lance (and respectively, Paul) enough time to become how great we need/want/expect them to be. I predict that, by the time their contracts are up, they will be worthy of extensions, and will earn them graciously. You can quote me on that.

Strummer
12-24-2011, 11:34 AM
Talk is cheap. Let's see it on the court. PR piece in its finest. Maybe he has grown up, but to think that he is anything more than a rotational player is wishful thinking.

Maybe he turns a corner defensively, I have no clue.

Wells writing public relations pieces for the Pacers? That'll be the day. Unless maybe Xmas kills the grinch in him.

imbtyler
12-24-2011, 11:47 AM
Wells writing public relations pieces for the Pacers? That'll be the day. Unless maybe Xmas kills the grinch in him.

And in Naptown, they say, that Mike Wells' heart grew three sizes that day!

http://www.gifsoup.com/view2/1443155/the-grinch-s-heart-grew-o.gif

ksuttonjr76
12-24-2011, 11:52 AM
He's young. I remember being a 21-year old knucklehead once. Heck, you can go to any colllege campus in America, and find a TON of 21-year old immature knuckleheads.

xBulletproof
12-24-2011, 12:16 PM
Why would you play our best passer at SG?

Well, because there's more to being a point guard than the ability to make a flashy pass. A lot more.

Ozwalt72
12-24-2011, 01:18 PM
Why would you play our best passer at SG?

Ask the Spurs?

Anthem
12-24-2011, 02:53 PM
Gotta walk the walk and not just talk the talk. Until then it means little to nothing.
I'm seeing this a lot, and I don't really get it. What would "walking the walk" look like in this case? There's very little talk from Stephenson in this article, this is mostly people noting that he's already been walking the walk.

He had a solid offseason and lockout. He's played very differently in his two preseason games. There's a difference in his practice demeanor.

Ok, I'll give you that it's a small sample. But why not give him credit for the walk he's walked?

Scot Pollard
12-24-2011, 03:06 PM
How does PR have to do with this?

Wells is just praising Lance for his improvements on and off the court and the fact that he's grown up.

People think too much into things on here.

Whatever, I'm happy for Lance and the Pacers.

Sandman21
12-24-2011, 04:00 PM
Not to mention that he and his family came out to the Pacers Fans United party on what would have been opening night.

I get the feeling Lance spent a lot of time working out with Jeff during the lockout.

Sookie
12-24-2011, 11:40 PM
Wells writing public relations pieces for the Pacers? That'll be the day. Unless maybe Xmas kills the grinch in him.

Wells runs hot and cold on Pacers players, for no reason that's obvious.

PGisthefuture
12-24-2011, 11:51 PM
Well, as long as he doesn't get Lance all worked up with talk about taking fruit from the tree of penetration.
Or telling him to squeeze the orange.


I'm more than excited to see how Lance pans out, just like Paul. As long as he stays in the right mind, he can be great. We just need to understand that some players don't develop into greatness for 3-4 years; Arron Afflalo, Carl Landry, Rodney Stuckey, Nick Young, Wilson Chandler were drafted in 2007, and they were all heavily-coveted players this 'offseason'. DeAndre Jordan, Ryan Anderson, JJ Hickson, Goran Dragic, Courtney Lee (just to mention a few) were drafted in '08, and are on track to be high-quality players, and cornerstones for their respective teams.

All I'm saying is that we still need to give Lance (and respectively, Paul) enough time to become how great we need/want/expect them to be. I predict that, by the time their contracts are up, they will be worthy of extensions, and will earn them graciously. You can quote me on that.

I agree, I could eventually see Lance as our O.J. Mayo. A guy that won't be a superstar in his career, but a really good 6th man and the main scorer off the bench. O.J. and Lance have very similar stories, both grew up being the best on their team and very hyped, both have the ability to play either guard position, but are mainly scorers. I wish everybody would just give the guy a chance, like I've seen posted so many times everybody makes stupid mistakes especially when they are young and grew up in a bad neighborhood. Let him grow and learn from veteran guys like Foster and West, even George Hill and Collison.