Mike Wells joined JMV on Monday afternoon and added some flavor to the Pacers' post-game drama in Houston. JMV prodded for details and Wells mentioned that he actually put his ear up to the door to try to determine who was yelling at whom but so many voices were involved he couldn't tell which words were directed at what players.
So what were they arguing about?
Defensive breakdowns and some maturity issues. You gotta guy like Lance Stephenson who is just getting some playing time and some of the veterans were upset with the way he was playing out there, as far as not wanting to give the ball up and also some of the passes he was making.
You know, Lance is a very talented player and I'm never going to take that away from him. I just feel like he needs to grow up. He's very immature still. I've mentioned that to a number of people about his maturity problems and a lot of people say, well he's only 20 years old, but my response to that is, you may be 20 years old but at the same time there's a difference between acting 19 or 20 and acting 15 or 16 and I feel like Lance is more in that 15 to 16 range and again, where the leadership lacks, he thinks he can get away with that.
Wells goes on to mention that Stephenson has rubbed teammates the wrong way because he doesn't want to listen to the older guys because he thinks he knows it all. Listen to the whole thing and you'll hear some strong words from Wells regarding Stephenson's approach to his initial chance to play in the NBA.
Personally, I've been holding my breath waiting for some negative impact to arise from Stephenson's rise in the playing rotation. At least I can exhale and shake my head. Heck, my face didn't even turn red waiting for something to pop up. As well as Stephenson has played on the court, there's much more to playing at the highest level than simply making plays with the ball in your hands.
So with Stephenson and Dahntay Jones creating the most noise in the Pacers' locker room, I can't see anything worthwhile emerging from the yelling. I can see Jones complaining about defensive breakdowns, but he has no point to make on dominating the ball and breaking the offense. That's all he does. Sometimes it works great, sometimes it doesn't.
Meanwhile, the actual playmakers who should have the loudest voice, who should raise their level of play and leadership remained drowned out. I mean, we're talking about two guys in Jones and Stephenson who play a mere portion of the minutes in a game, neither considered anyting more than a role player off the bench.
Where are Danny Granger, Roy Hibbert and Darren Collison? How about old pros, James Posey and Jeff Foster? They've already let a minor issue (seriously, no 20-year old rookie should make the locker room so crazy) fester into a problem. How long before they're desperate enough to do something about it and save the season?