I like all three picks, I followed Stephenson since he was recruited by IU and he is a basketball player with many skills. I thought his attitude would be a problem in college, but not in the NBA as he is willing to work. He is NOT like James White, Stephenson is very skilled, White was just athletic player they hoped to turn in to a basketball player.
I would be tempted to try Stephenson at the point, not normally a passer but I would be interested in trying it.
It seems like every year there is talk about a non-PG playing the position. Let's see. Marquis, Luther Head, Dunleavy...now our second round pick. Just kind of funny IMO...
Oh, we are probably lacking two PG's. I just find it humorous that anyone under 7 feet with a decent handle gets a try-out around here.
Seriously though, the Pacers need a PG really, really BAD. Expect us to give up something in trade to get a decent one this summer. Don't expect the Pacers to put Stephenson at the helm...
According to Chad Ford, Stephenson worked his *** off and blew alot of GMS away with his workouts and talent, but everyone was afraid to take a chance on him. If this draft was on talent alone, Stephenson might have been a top 5-10 pick. The guy has incredible talent. And if the Pacers were truely the only people to do there homework on him and thought he was well suited to play for us ( after all the mess in the past ), then i'm pretty excited. If the guy puts in the work, he can be the started SG for the Pacers and a legit steal.
I read the player breakdowns on NBADraft.net. They do a great job. Read his strengths and try to tell me this isnt what the Pacers have severely lacked the past 5 years.
" Strengths: Nineteen year old freshman with an NBA-ready body ... At 6'5 210, has a rare combination of power and quickness ... Completely dominated the New York PSAL, almost single handedly leading Lincoln HS to four titles (Owns the all time scoring record in the State of New York) ... Was often the biggest and strongest guy on the court, and took advantage of it, routinely dismantling opponents using brute force ... Relentless attacker of the basket, seeking out contact and getting to the free throw stripe where he converts at a high % ... Excellent penetrator with a quick first step ... Utilizes change of pace dribbles, cross-overs and spin moves to get into the lane ... Able to slither his way in between small creases ... Superior ball handler with a flare for the dramatic (good or bad) ... Good court vision. Aesthetically pleasing shooting stroke ... Supreme accuracy on pull up J's, especially when dribbling to his left ... "Easy" three point range. Has shown flashes of lock down on the ball defense with his strength and 6'10 wingspan ... Should be an instant fast break running the point at Cincinnati with his rebounding ability ... "Born Ready" has been hyped since day 1 at Lincoln, playing under tremendous pressure and scrutiny every night, even appearing in a documentary about him ..."
I hope the kid gets head on straight. Bird should serve as a good mentor to him. If the guy " gets it ". This is one of the biggest steals in draft history. If not, it's just another failed 2nd round pick. 75% of them are fails anyways.
I'm not sure why you would rate James Anderson over Stephenson on talent.
"Weaknesses: Lack of ball handling skills really constricts his game ... He is not comfortable creating offense for himself or teammates ... Appears hesitant with the ball in his hands with a lack of ingenuity ... Despite his athletic gifts, does not look "smooth" when forced to make a basketball move ... Drives to the basket are predominantly to his left ... Unable to change directions with the rock ... Dribbles with his head down ... Turnovers (2 per game for his career) and offensive fouls have been a problem ... Not a particularly adept passer (1.3 ast per game) ... His basketball IQ needs work ... He's a natural shooter, but not a natural basketball player ... Could certainly stand to add some bulk, which would aid his ball handling woes ... Knocked off balance too easily on drives ... Despite improved aggression, still spends too much time floating around the perimeter, especially in crunch time. Needs to augment his mid-range game. "
I can't say the Pacers have ever lacked for any players getting post draft hype. ...But we've sure lacked on any of it panning out (The list pretty much starts and ends with Granger this past decade).Read his strengths and try to tell me this isnt what the Pacers have severely lacked the past 5 years.
But color me intrigued to see how this one goes.
"A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."
BLUE COLLAR GOLD SWAGGER
wikipedia seems to think that Stephenson died of a cocaine overdose following the NBA draft. Len Bias much?
follow me @TruenoPanda - lets talk Pacers!
That is very strange...hope it's not real.
That's probably one of the funniest things I read on this board when you consider the following players
Ron Artest( SI picture cover)
He either didn't mentor them when needed or he isn't a good mentor.
How are Stepenson's PG skills...........I can see him running the point..........tall, long and atheletic..... kind of like a R. Westbrook type. Now if only we could get a real PG in here to train him.....
I'm not perfect and neither are you.
Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the esteem of Elohim,
Ephisians 4: 32 And be kind towards one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as Elohim also forgave you in Messiah.
I keep saying that the pacers got this guy because they want him to play PG, he has the tools to to this.
The more I read, the more I'm excited to see what this kid can do, and the more I hope he's not a headcase. He sounds like he could be something to see if things work out.
Let's not forget Stephenson's McDonald's All-American game (from nbadraft.net):
Lance Stephenson -- 12 pts, 6-11 fg, 0-2 3p, 0-2 ft, 4 rebs, 3 stls, 6 asts, 6 to, 23 min -- Had a rough go of things committing 6 turnovers. Showed good speed in the open floor with the ball, but gets out of control. On one occasion, he got off the ground before passing causing a turnover showing his lack of fundamentals. He did make some solid plays down the stretch including the game clinching pass to Favors. Has a nose for scoring. Really excels attacking the rim off the bounce. On the negative side his feet look awkward, as he runs up on his toes, not fluid. Talented kid with a great body for his age, but below average athleticism for the NBA level and his fundamentals, work ethic, and body language are big concerns.
The entire draft. Love the picks of Turner, Young and trading for Christmas.
Signing Glen Robinson III
Trading for Budinger
Signing Monta Ellis
Signing Jordan Hill (not for the player, but for his deal)
Re-signing Stuckey and Allen