I remain convinced his position is PG and I like the fact he got some burn at PG last night. I don't think that's because we didn't have other options because Hill was on the floor at the time.
Lance has a gift of recognizing when plays may be developing...well before they do. This is a rare and extremely valuable Nash or JKidd type of gift he has. It's a gift I'm beginning to see LeBron exercise as well. Not many players have it.
Then Lance also has the ability to see the floor AND deliver the ball due to his size and length. Finally, he can penetrate and put a ton of pressure on small PG's.
For those who still think he's a SG, what about his game tells you that?
What Lance needed was minutes. We are finally seeing that and he is showing he can play point. Come play off
time he will be a big help. The biggest improvement I see is his patience on waiting for his turn to shine and also
to work within the team concept. Huge issues he has to overcome if he wants to excel in the NBA
I saw him bring the ball up some and initiate the offense, but that's something that both of our wings do. Paul George did it a few times as well.
I am not sure he was ever the "pg" but he ran the show like a point guard. PG runs the show like a point sometimes but I think Lance might be able to break down his defender better than Paul and I believe Lance will make less turnovers the Paul. I think Lance is much more suited to play the true point where as Paul never could. He has better handles.
But all of those issues have been resolved or are being resolved. At the very least, he's shown substantial improvement in every one of those areas. I didn't disagree with Vogel that he was unready for big minutes last year, and I don't disagree with Vogel now. Lance is making a strong case for a larger role, and I think Vogel will give it to him.
Really, this coaching staff is pretty underrated as a developer of young players. Starting last year with Hill on the bench and letting him earn a starting role worked out great. Last year they had Paul George in a utility role; letting him learn that first and then the scoring would come. This year, they're doing the same thing with Lance. It's very very good.
We do not have a PG driven offense. I understand everyone wants lance to direct traffic out there but honestly its not going to be any different than him playing at SG right now. The thing that makes him special is his ability to drive and facilitate which he can do now. He is playing his role in the offense and until his amount of touches and freedom goes up then we wont see anything more. I like the fact that they have not pushed him. They have broke him down from a chucker and a turnover machine and rebuilt him into a good defensive team player. As they continue to rebuild him and teach him how to play basketball I see getting more touches in the role you all want him to be in.
This is an argument I can buy. I don't know what goes on behind the scenes, but we all know Lance is a wildcard. Just watching him on the floor screams "give him the reigns!" Vogel is not doing that. He's told us why. I can respect it.
However, I don't know about you all, but I'm seeing leadership qualities by Lance on the floor. I'm seeing him talk a lot to teammates on defense, point out places on the floor that need to be covered, etc. He's also been willing to be a follower, which is an important first step to becoming a leader.
That said, if he ends up developing the qualities Vogel says he needs to have, he could very likely become our backup point guard, and a damn good one. If he continues to improve at this arc, Vogel will have the very excellent problem during the playoffs of who to sit at the end of games.
Again, I ask, what about Lance's game makes people think he's not a PG?
Yes, the man can play the SG position. But what specifically about Lance's game makes him a better SG than PG considering his anticipation of plays developing, size to see over the defense, passing ability, penetration ability, his handle, ability to shoot, his ability to punish opposing PG's with his size.
What's wrong about all that...and what is it specifically that makes him a better fit at SG?
All of that aside, I think he's putting in really solid effort to become a more mature, more composed, more poised personality both on and off the court. I still think he has a way to go, but it's so unbelievably clear that he can play well and that he wants to be the player that we know he can become.
If the game was all about skills and talent, then I think he'd be playing as a PG. Alas, he still has some personal work to do. He has to learn to represent himself as a professional. My guess is that this will come. Hopefully in about 1.5 years, AFTER we resign him to another 4 year, low dollar deal. :)
Last year, Vogel told Lance exactly what he needed to do to get playing time: defend better, rotate better, play in the team concept, and shoot better. Lance has done those things. If he's being challenged to step up in the leadership and maturity areas, then so much the better.
Anthem said...."Ok, somebody help me here. Several people have mentioned this, but I didn't see it. When did he get burn at PG last night?
I saw him bring the ball up some and initiate the offense, but that's something that both of our wings do. Paul George did it a few times as well."
Lance and Paul's point guard like responsibilities are being discussed.
For whatever reason last night, there was about a two or three possession stretch where Lance brought the ball up and apparently was allowed to run the pick and roll. He NEVER runs the pick and roll. He gets to lead a fast break if its there. If not, he passes to Hill who runs a pick and roll (sometimes PG gets to).
I don't really care about the point guard part. I like the fact he actually got to run the offense. I think it led to a score nearly every time.
Great second half last night. I loved how aggressive the Pacers were as a team, playing with a real swagger. Some of our backups are starting to step up and play at a high level too (Ian, Green and Tyler). I think the team is starting to come together as a team. That's one of the things I love about Tyler and I think is a huge intangible, he backs up the other players on this team.
Frank Vogel's exact comment made directly to me is, "Lance is a 2." I've asked Vogel numerous times about Lance this season in various contexts. I do not think Vogel believes that Stephenson will ever develop in the areas that he (Vogel) deems necessary to make him a point guard. It is not simply a question of maturity or experience.
Lance has the skills of a playmaker (i.e. passing and vision), but not really the composure, mentality, and floor general skills of a PG. Also it doesn't seem to me that he would have the quickness to guard most PGs. SO even though he has some of the skills normally associated with the PG position, he doesn't have the other skills to be a full time starting PG. I am a little more lenient as to what kind of player you have as a back-up PG. Often times you don't have the skills at the other bench positions to take full advantage of having a true PG on the bench, or the ability to find a true PG that is good enough to play as there just aren't that many.
I think all the talk about Lance's role as a PG or SG is irrelevant. I personally don't care which "title" he is given, I use the term title because a lot of teams in today's basketball are really making the 5 positions blended and unimportant. Teams are starting 2 PGs, playing 2 PGs together, playing 2 combo guards together (no true point), I mean in the end what really matters is what Lance's role in the offense is, not his position. I think up until this point (maybe the last couple of games before he got hurt this wasn't entirely true) none of our offense has been run for Lance. He seems to be the only starter that doesn't really get "his number" called in the offense. All of his offense seems to come from random open looks and transition, but I think he has proven himself as a good enough offensive decision maker that he needs to actually be a part of the offense now. Much like Vogel has made a distinct effort to get PG involved early and often I think Lance needs some love as well (not saying as much, but some). I would love to see for every 4 pick and rolls called between Hill and West, that Lance get at least 1 of them, or maybe some wing iso pick and rolls with Hibbert. Whatever it may be I'd like to see Lance get some kind of plays set for his skill set.