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View Full Version : Are The Pacers Setting Lance Stephenson Up To Fail?



90'sNBARocked
07-09-2012, 12:53 PM
http://www.indycornrows.com/2012/7/8/3145913/are-the-indiana-pacers-setting-lance-stephenson-up-to-fail


Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson has been a high-maintenance young player in his two years with the Indiana Pacers. After struggling through his rookie season without playing much but still managing to drive a few teammates nuts, Stephenson stayed around Indianapolis and went to work.

He kept working on his game throughout the lockout and last season when after being afforded some minutes in the early part of the season, he found himself back on the bench when the games started to become meaningful. Stehpenson remains in Indy to keep working at the Knox Pro Am games and the Fieldhouse.

Honestly, since starting off no the wrong foot his rookie season, Stephenson has done just what you would hope as far as putting in the work and keeping his mind on the game and his career. But his contract heading into the upcoming season is not guaranteed and his guardian angel at the Fieldhouse, Larry Bird is not going to be around.

So when I hear coach Dan Burke talking about Stephenson playing in the Orlando Summer League and the expectations they have for him to lead the team and show some growth in areas not directly related to on-court basketball skills it makes me wonder if, by setting up this challenge for Stephenson this summer they aren't instead setting him up to fail which would support letting him go before the next NBA season starts.

Summer league play is not a direct correlation to play in the NBA and I certainly wouldn't want my future hinging on how things go down in Orlando. There are players scrapping for jobs both on the Pacers summer roster and on other teams. They aren't looking to develop great chemistry and become a cohesive unit. Players looking for NBA roster spots are primarily concerned with impressing scouts and coaches on hand, hoping for a call to go to camp in October.

Expecting Stephenson to lead a team that doesn't necessarily want to be led is tough. Stephenson is a bit of a lightening rod because of the flashes of talent and his name, but he could put it all together and be an impact player for the Pacers which would make anything he does in Orlando from a leadership standpoint moot. Keeping him on the roster is almost easier to justify since his salary ($870,000) makes barely a mark on the cap. But looking at things from a different angle, the team may simply be ready to move on from the Stephenson experiment and using Orlando to give him a chance to perform in front of the rest of the league.

That would be much more fair than forcing him to earn his spot by trying to lead a summer league team.

I didnt see this posted yet , and I know how much you guys want another Lance thread, so my gift to you :)

WhoLovesYaBaby?
07-09-2012, 12:56 PM
Yes, they are setting him up! Like someone said on another thread; Pacer front office is a bunch of vindictive 14 year old girls!

Now if Lance would get a Justin Beaver hair cut, he might fair better.

Kstat
07-09-2012, 01:06 PM
I swear I thought this was a bump from either of the last two summers.

BillS
07-09-2012, 01:17 PM
uhh ... hwut?

So basically the Pacers are so keen to have an excuse to let Lance go at the end of this coming season that they'll play him SPECIFICALLY SO HE CAN FAIL?

Wow. Just wow.

Kstat
07-09-2012, 01:18 PM
..what was their excuse for letting AJ Price go?

Brad8888
07-09-2012, 01:22 PM
..what was their excuse for letting AJ Price go?

My guess would be that AJ privately requested it because he wants a chance to be a point guard somewhere that respects passing and creating for others out of the 1, as opposed to being expected to be a scorer and create his own shot as a primary function.

Kstat
07-09-2012, 01:28 PM
Sorry, forgot to include the green font.

You don't need an excuse to let a 2nd rounder go. Teams cut them every day. Many of them just aren't that good.

AJ Price is an NBA player, but it seems like he was cut on a whim. Whether it was his whim or Donnie's, who knows.

Slick Pinkham
07-09-2012, 01:36 PM
Asking somebody to produce now, or else is not setting him up to fail. It's asking for fair return on your investment. He's been babied along, pampered even. If he is not ready to show he belongs in the league by now, then I see no reason to expect another year of easing him in would get him any closer to that point.

Kstat
07-09-2012, 01:37 PM
ok, honest question: if Lance Stephenson was cut before the start of the season, would anybody here be shocked?

Sparhawk
07-09-2012, 01:41 PM
While I don't think they are setting him up to fail, I do think they are giving him a rather short leash. Hans hasn't really earned anything, but he keeps getting chance after chance. I'd just like to see Lance be giving the same types of chances. Give him more than 10min a game.

Steagles
07-09-2012, 01:41 PM
ok, honest question: if Lance Stephenson was cut before the start of the season, would anybody here be shocked?

I would be, but not as much as if Larry were here.

Kstat
07-09-2012, 01:42 PM
I would be, but not as much as if Larry were here.

I thought of that when i asked the question.

Dr. Awesome
07-09-2012, 01:44 PM
ok, honest question: if Lance Stephenson was cut before the start of the season, would anybody here be shocked?

Shocked, no.

Disappointed, yes.

I don't see why you cut him anyway. You got a guy with loads of talent working hard to become better. He is still crazy young too. I just don't believe you cut a player like that.

Justin Tyme
07-09-2012, 01:53 PM
ok, honest question: if Lance Stephenson was cut before the start of the season, would anybody here be shocked?



Not in the least.

pacergod2
07-09-2012, 01:54 PM
A couple of points.

I would be shocked if Lance was cut because he makes the league minimum and the cost is a bargain for his upside.

AJ Price got cut because his price tag went up from a minimum second round player to asking for more than his QO which was over $1M. I think this is more of an indication that we aren't going to trade Collison if anything. I like Price and I like his game. He is kind of cut from the same cloth as McRoberts and Rush. The what if he didn't get drafted under JOB thread (I apply the same for Hibbert, but he quickly became a focal point for the offense after JOB left). Price has the least talent of the four of them. Price isn't looking for much more money than the QO, I doubt, but I think he wants a situation where he is higher than fourth string PG.

I think the team is looking for Stephenson to prove his maturity. They are putting him out there in a position to succeed, not a position to fail. I think it shows your distinct disbelief in Stephenson to succeed. :)

Stephenson and Pendergraph I think are going to dominate SL. I think Stephenson will get more minutes this year as long as he can promote ball movement and take advantage of his skills within the team concept, which he showed flashes of last year. Up to this point, he has been way too deliberate with either going to the rim or passing the ball as if he made his mind up before he even gets the ball. Read and react. Know the offense and react to opportunities in the defense. That is the key to him taking the next step. The team wants to make sure that he is a player with the head and will power to continue to grow. He will succeed if he is capable.

*astrisk*
07-09-2012, 02:00 PM
ok, honest question: if Lance Stephenson was cut before the start of the season, would anybody here be shocked?

I would be shocked if for no other reason than he is a versitile player, who has 2 years and 2 million on his contract. (Unguaranteed)

His familiarity with our system in combination with a need for a 3rd PG, makes Lance a good option to keep around. Atleast for one more season...

OlBlu
07-09-2012, 02:00 PM
My guess would be that AJ privately requested it because he wants a chance to be a point guard somewhere that respects passing and creating for others out of the 1, as opposed to being expected to be a scorer and create his own shot as a primary function.

I would be astounded if this was true. AJ would be happy to sign a contract with the Pacers or anyone else....... But, I have been astounded before......:cool:

Justin Tyme
07-09-2012, 02:04 PM
Shocked, no.

Disappointed, yes.

I don't see why you cut him anyway. You got a guy with loads of talent working hard to become better. He is still crazy young too. I just don't believe you cut a player like that.


I understand your thought, and can agree to a point. BUT truly where does Lance fit in to the scheme of things with the Pacers?

PG? He's 3rd string at best.

SG? The Pacers had 4 SG's, not including Lance, b4 drafting Orlando J. Then the Pacers have been looking at other SG like OJ and Lee.

So where does Stephenson fit in? What's his future with the Pacers?

Would I be surprised if he was cut? No, but I won't be surprised if he was used as trade fodder either. His future with the Pacers may truly hinge with what players the FO picks up this off season.

90'sNBARocked
07-09-2012, 02:31 PM
all things considered,

Yes , I would be shocked

BRushWithDeath
07-09-2012, 03:09 PM
I will not care one iota if he is cut. Nor will I be exceedingly surprised.

But, if they choose to cut him or keep him based on anything that happens on the court this week in Orlando, they are next level stupid.

*** Edit: Other than an injury I suppose. ***

Trader Joe
07-09-2012, 03:11 PM
ok, honest question: if Lance Stephenson was cut before the start of the season, would anybody here be shocked?

No. I still think most of Bird's comments about Lance were always just veiled sarcasm.

That being said, I hope Lance gets his chance to help the team at the 2. I think he could give us some scoring from that spot.

Naptown_Seth
07-09-2012, 03:23 PM
Summer league play is not a direct correlation to play in the NBA and I certainly wouldn't want my future hinging on how things go down in Orlando
Sure it is Corn Rows, guys that look poor in summer league typically do not make the NBA. It's a one-sided correlation in that doing well means nothing, but playing poorly is a quick trip out of camp.

Jamison Brewer called to ask you guys to all give him one more chance because that summer league season set him up to fail and that's the only reason he was cut. He's was about to be one of the Pacers go-to guards and the stupid summer league ruined it for him.



Sheesh, how apologetic to fans have to get when they start using playing time as a secret, unfair agenda meant to wreck a player's career.

This just in, the Spurs decade long dream to humble Duncan and thus reduce his salary is only a few more years from working out, and only about a decade too late. But the Spurs are sticking to it and sooner or later "they'll show him".

joew8302
07-09-2012, 04:17 PM
Lance generates a ton of convo on here, which is funny. Here are some things I believe:

1. Frank is a good NBA coach

2. Frank can recognize talent

3. Our backcourt was not that strong (hence bringing in Barbosa)

4. If Lance Stephenson, AJ Price, Chris Kramer or any of the ballboys could have helped the team Frank would have put them on the court

5. I trust Frank's judgement. He runs practice. He sees what guys can do. If he doesn't believe Lance is good enough to get minutes ahead of guys like Barbosa and Dhantay Jones then I don't think he is either.

6. Considering this will be Lance's 3rd year (I believe) on the team and he STILL can't beat out journeymen type guys, no, I will not be shocked if he is not on the team.

That is all

ilive4sports
07-09-2012, 04:29 PM
ok, honest question: if Lance Stephenson was cut before the start of the season, would anybody here be shocked?
Shocked? No. Surprised? Yes.

Sure it might have been Bird pushing for him to get playing time, but I still think there are quite a few people in this franchise that want him to succeed. I doubt Bird was the only one who saw potential in him. Most people here see it. I hope we don't let him go before the season, no reason to really. I hope he has a great summer league and takes that next step into becoming a useful role player.

ilive4sports
07-09-2012, 04:31 PM
Lance generates a ton of convo on here, which is funny. Here are some things I believe:

1. Frank is a good NBA coach

2. Frank can recognize talent

3. Our backcourt was not that strong (hence bringing in Barbosa)

4. If Lance Stephenson, AJ Price, Chris Kramer or any of the ballboys could have helped the team Frank would have put them on the court

5. I trust Frank's judgement. He runs practice. He sees what guys can do. If he doesn't believe Lance is good enough to get minutes ahead of guys like Barbosa and Dhantay Jones then I don't think he is either.

6. Considering this will be Lance's 3rd year (I believe) on the team and he STILL can't beat out journeymen type guys, no, I will not be shocked if he is not on the team.

That is all
what journeymen have been beating out Lance?

xIndyFan
07-09-2012, 04:34 PM
ok, honest question: if Lance Stephenson was cut before the start of the season, would anybody here be shocked?

not sure shocked is the right word, but i would be surprised. He has shown the ability to play at the NBA level, is paid a very low salary, does not seem to be a locker room problem and is still young. Getting rid of him accomplishes nothing except making the haters happy.

xIndyFan
07-09-2012, 04:38 PM
Lance generates a ton of convo on here, which is funny. Here are some things I believe:

1. Frank is a good NBA coach

2. Frank can recognize talent

3. i hate lance

4. i hate lance

5. i hate lance

That is all

i read your post and this is what it kept saying to me. so i fixed it.

got no problem with player hate, but pretending otherwise gets old.

joew8302
07-09-2012, 04:56 PM
what journeymen have been beating out Lance?

http://www.nba.com/pacers/roster/2012

Check it out for yourself.

joew8302
07-09-2012, 04:57 PM
i read your post and this is what it kept saying to me. so i fixed it.

got no problem with player hate, but pretending otherwise gets old.

So instead of coming up with something legitimate to counter my points, this is what you come up with? Well played.

90'sNBARocked
07-09-2012, 05:04 PM
I dont know what is expected with such little acutual court time he has had in his first two years here. It's also very presumptious to assume he didnt play due to lack of ability

I think this will be the year he gets his chance

Either way I am very proud at the way this young man has looked to be turning the corner on maturity, he has spent both off (or the majority) his off seasons in Indy, working on his game and playing wherever he could.

I mean who would have thought after the first issue when we drafted him, that two years later we would say that the choke sign to LeBron in the playoffs this year, was the "worst" thinhg Lance has done so far

Whether he makes it as an NBA star or a productive citizen , im proud of the way he has handled himself

Jeremy
07-09-2012, 05:06 PM
Lance generates a ton of convo on here, which is funny. Here are some things I believe:

1. Frank is a good NBA coach

2. Frank can recognize talent

3. Our backcourt was not that strong (hence bringing in Barbosa)

4. If Lance Stephenson, AJ Price, Chris Kramer or any of the ballboys could have helped the team Frank would have put them on the court

5. I trust Frank's judgement. He runs practice. He sees what guys can do. If he doesn't believe Lance is good enough to get minutes ahead of guys like Barbosa and Dhantay Jones then I don't think he is either.

6. Considering this will be Lance's 3rd year (I believe) on the team and he STILL can't beat out journeymen type guys, no, I will not be shocked if he is not on the team.

That is allMy thoughts exactly.

ilive4sports
07-09-2012, 05:06 PM
http://www.nba.com/pacers/roster/2012

Check it out for yourself.
Who are the journeymen that played ahead of Lance? We didn't have a journeymen guard on the roster to even play ahead of Lance.

joew8302
07-09-2012, 05:09 PM
I dont know what is expected with such little acutual court time he has had in his first two years here. It's also very presumptious to assume he didnt play due to lack of ability

I think this will be the year he gets his chance

Either way I am very proud at the way this young man has looked to be turning the corner on maturity, he has spent both off (or the majority) his off seasons in Indy, working on his game and playing wherever he could.

I mean who would have thought after the first issue when we drafted him, that two years later we would say that the choke sign to LeBron in the playoffs this year, was the "worst" thinhg Lance has done so far

Whether he makes it as an NBA star or a productive citizen , im proud of the way he has handled himself

So just out of curiosity is Frank a bad coach? Can he not judge talent? What is this grandiose reason for Lance getting so little time?

ilive4sports
07-09-2012, 05:17 PM
So just out of curiosity is Frank a bad coach? Can he not judge talent? What is this grandiose reason for Lance getting so little time?
players take time to develop. Lance is 21 years old. He came out early from college. Lance is like a lot of guys in the NBA who have 2 years of experience. Doesn't mean he doesn't have a future.

ChicagoJ
07-09-2012, 05:36 PM
I would be shocked if he's invited to training camp. He's not shown anything about actually becoming a rotation player in the NBA. Just a talented kid with mad skillz.

BlueNGold
07-09-2012, 06:20 PM
It's fairly obvious what they are doing. They are testing Lance in summer league. Specifically, testing his maturity. If he passes this test, that means they may be able to rely on him enough to put him in the rotation....and if things go well enough they will be able to move Collison. So, this test is so they can gain some confidence in him before pushing the Collison eject button. Nothing against DC, but he has some value on the trading block.

90'sNBARocked
07-09-2012, 07:53 PM
I would be shocked if he's invited to training camp. He's not shown anything about actually becoming a rotation player in the NBA. Just a talented kid with mad skillz.

Dang man, you in the Chi. didnt catch the last game of the season?

3rdStrike
07-09-2012, 08:08 PM
So just out of curiosity is Frank a bad coach? Can he not judge talent? What is this grandiose reason for Lance getting so little time?

He was a head coach who doesn't yet have the service time / track record for job security, who lucked/took this team to the playoffs last year for the first time in a while. Coaches in such situations almost never roll the dice. If this was a lottery team Lance would've probably seen a lot more minutes last year.

Anyway, about the article. I get the writer's angle, but I disagree. Plumlee and to a lesser extent OJ are hoped to provide help this year (like it or not) to the 2nd unit. Lance is expected to get a significant bump in PT while OJ gets a hang of the game, but it's not like Lance is out there playing with guys he'll never share the court with in a meaningful game. The hope is that he learns how to set them up now, what their tendencies and strengths and weaknesses are now. So I like it. You guys remember how bad the 2nd unit often looked last year? They were okay on paper, but there was rarely any flow to the offense and it usually devolved into a Hansbrough one arm flail towards the basket, a 10 footer from Lou or a wild shot from Barbosa / DJ. I think Lance will get a lot of burn with the returning bench vets in the pre-season too.

xIndyFan
07-09-2012, 08:09 PM
It's fairly obvious what they are doing. They are testing Lance in summer league. Specifically, testing his maturity. If he passes this test, that means they may be able to rely on him enough to put him in the rotation....and if things go well enough they will be able to move Collison. So, this test is so they can gain some confidence in him before pushing the Collison eject button. Nothing against DC, but he has some value on the trading block.

This post passes the Occam's Razor Test. Good point. It would be nice, very nice if Lance is able to play the point next season. Even as a backup.

A-Train
07-09-2012, 08:18 PM
Sure it is Corn Rows, guys that look poor in summer league typically do not make the NBA. It's a one-sided correlation in that doing well means nothing, but playing poorly is a quick trip out of camp.


This is where I was leaning with this question. If Lance stinks up the joint, then I wouldn't be shocked. If he plays okay, not even great, then I'd be closer to shocked. If he plays well, to great, then I'd be very shocked.

While summer league isn't a direct correlation to the NBA, it can expose a guy who isn't ready. Lance needs to show that he's ready. At least ready enough to hold his own in a summer league.

Professor S
07-09-2012, 08:47 PM
This is where I was leaning with this question. If Lance stinks up the joint, then I wouldn't be shocked. If he plays okay, not even great, then I'd be closer to shocked. If he plays well, to great, then I'd be very shocked.

While summer league isn't a direct correlation to the NBA, it can expose a guy who isn't ready. Lance needs to show that he's ready. At least ready enough to hold his own in a summer league.

Didn't Lance already "hold his own in a summer league" two years ago when he dominated the Orlando league prior to his rookie season?

sav
07-10-2012, 09:47 AM
I think it could be that instead of setting Lance up to fail, maybe they are trying to get a good look at Orlando Johnson. Since OJ and Lance play the same position, they are moving Lance to PG to get him some minutes as well. As another poster mentioned, if he does well at PG they may pull the trigger on a Collison deal.

naptownmenace
07-10-2012, 09:53 AM
Who are the journeymen that played ahead of Lance? We didn't have a journeymen guard on the roster to even play ahead of Lance.

Dhantay Jones and Leandro Barbosa.

Slick Pinkham
07-10-2012, 10:05 AM
I hope that major roster decisions don't rely on summer league play. Bo Outlaw dominated summer leagues, winning MVPs with 35 point games and quadruple doubles. Marco Belinelli looked like the next George Gervin in summer league. It will be more of a red flag if a veteran plays poorly rather than plays well in summer league. Sometimes you can tell if rookies are overmatched, i.e. Evan Turner looked lost compared to Durant, but generally you can't tell much.

A-Train
07-10-2012, 10:22 AM
Didn't Lance already "hold his own in a summer league" two years ago when he dominated the Orlando league prior to his rookie season?

Not sure how much he dominated, but that only proves the point... dominating or playing well in a summer league doesn't necessarily correlate to how someone will play during the regular season. But, had he stuck up the joint, there's a (better) chance he'd be gone by now.

Pacergeek
07-10-2012, 10:32 AM
Seems strange that Lance is even playing summer basketball. After watching the game yesterday, he was by far the best player for either team. He has proven that he can stand out when playing amongst his peers. He just has to show that he can play amongst the grown men of the NBA.

Handoverfist
07-10-2012, 10:33 AM
I think Lance will be another Terence Williams at best. He has some talent, but not what it takes upstairs to put it all together.

naptownmenace
07-10-2012, 10:38 AM
I think PG is his best chance at making on an NBA team. He is a good passer and when he's looking to create for others, he's at his best.

If he can just improve his shooting accuracy from the field and free throw line, he could be a decent back up role player of the Raefer Alston/Chris Duhon/CJ Watson variety.

Trader Joe
07-10-2012, 11:17 AM
Dang man, you in the Chi. didnt catch the last game of the season?

I'm not trying to Lance bash here, but I'll never understand why people point to this immediately now. It was a meaningless game for both teams.

docpaul
07-10-2012, 11:24 AM
I think PG is his best chance at making on an NBA team. He is a good passer and when he's looking to create for others, he's at his best.

If he can just improve his shooting accuracy from the field and free throw line, he could be a decent back up role player of the Raefer Alston/Chris Duhon/CJ Watson variety.

Yesterday, when he played the point, he certainly looked the most comfortable. He was awkward at the 2, and not as effective.

IMO, the main way that the Pacers can set Lance up for failure, is if they force him into a backup 2 role, as the coaching staff seemed to indicate they were going to do earlier in the summer.

I think his potential, if any, lies at the point.

In the end, I think you'll likely see him as a NBA journeyman for a few teams, each tantalized by his potential, but never quite gets over the hump to having a defined role. I sure hope I'm wrong on this one.

In some ways, the fact that Lance will have a hard time breaking into the rotation is more a testament to improved team depth/quality.

If we sign Mayo, and re-sign Barbosa and/or Courtney Lee, then we have:

Hill, Collison, Stephenson, George, Johnson, Barbosa/Lee

Not a lot of space there for Lance.

A-Train
07-10-2012, 11:25 AM
I think PG is his best chance at making on an NBA team. He is a good passer and when he's looking to create for others, he's at his best.

If he can just improve his shooting accuracy from the field and free throw line, he could be a decent back up role player of the Raefer Alston/Chris Duhon/CJ Watson variety.

That would be disappointing, considering all the talent he supposedly has. I hope there isn't a similar level of disappointment with Paul George before it's all said and done.

ChicagoJ
07-10-2012, 11:25 AM
Dang man, you in the Chi. didnt catch the last game of the season?

a) It was a one game. And a meaningless game at that.
b) I was out of town at a client, and my mobile LP blacked out the game. I'm not sure I understand how the zip codes work for that... I happened to be in the Cavaliers broadcast region so even though I have a Bulls-region zip code I think I still should have been able to get it. But anyway, I didn't worry too much about missing that game because it was a meaningless game between their scrubs and our scrubs (as the starters all played well below their normal minutes.)

WhoLovesYaBaby?
07-10-2012, 11:51 AM
..what was their excuse for letting AJ Price go?

They don't like black people.

naptownmenace
07-10-2012, 05:00 PM
That would be disappointing, considering all the talent he supposedly has. I hope there isn't a similar level of disappointment with Paul George before it's all said and done.

Maybe. He has talent but he was over hyped like Sebastian Telfair was. Telfair has turned into a decent player by learning how to shoot and become a better distributor. Lance is bigger so he might have a better chance of becoming a better player though if he can also develop a post game.

Paul George has a much higher ceiling. He was drafter #10 and several people felt after the draft that the Pacers got a steal. I think it was David Thorpe that said that in 5 years we might be saying that Paul George was the best player in the 2010 draft.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=mc-georgedraft062210

The scout wasn’t backing down. In five years, he said, the best player from the 2010 NBA draft won’t be John Wall.

Evan Turner?

Nope.

DeMarcus Cousins?

Nope.

Derrick Favors?

Nope.

“In five years,” the Eastern Conference scout said, “Paul George will be the best player to come out of this draft.

“Trust me.”