I'm starting a postgame thread (even though many postgame comments are in the game thread) because we have a week until the first game and a fresh thread seems like a good idea.
Tyler Hansbrough. I was not surprised. We've seen this performance before. It's all about whether he is hitting his outside shot. If he is, he is basically unstoppable, and I mean that. If he finds consistency with his shot, he will be a leading scorer in the NBA. We'll see. He was hot and cold last year. Perhaps this is the year he finds a rhythm.
My favorite play of the game was around the 3rd quarter when Tyler got the ball on the baseline about 20 feet away. I think it was Taj Gibson, a great defender, who finally realized he better get is @__ way out there and cover him. So Tyler performed a mega quick jab step, drove baseline quicker than a cat and scored an easy, uncontested layup—because getting in front of that beast means an almost guaranteed and 1. Those are your choices when Tyler Hansbrough is hot.
Lance Stephenson. He does not "run the offense." Right now we have no offense. We don't have the players to run a good offense. Lance is the only person on the team with the ability, the possibility, and the potential, of creating space and opportunities to provide high percentage shots for the team. In my opinion, his breaking out is the only mathematical possibility we have to develop a powerful offensive team. (Apart from another acquisition.)
That said, he is an experiment worth being patient with. We need to give him a long leash. We need to hope and pray he is maturing into a decent human being, as surely the precedent is there for him to be a bad one.
Some say Lance has a low Bball IQ. I disagree. I think it is quite high. (BBall IQ being defined as natural instincts regarding what works on the floor.) What he has is very poor training. Rucker Park was not the bastion of fundamentals and Cincy apparently didn't help much. Therefore, let's hope the coaching staff has the ability and passion to instill fundamental ball into Lance's thinking, and let's hope Lance is willing to learn.
Danny Granger. Okay, he takes preseason off. Not the worst sin in the world, but it's a metaphor for Danny's entire style, which is a bit irksome to me. He takes some things off at times, like defense. You know, I was a bit embarrassed for him and the Pacers that Coach K decided to bench him because his defense wasn't good enough. Another strike against him who should not be named.
Roy Hibbert. Like Hansbrough, Roy can be hot and cold. He's been cold in the preseason. He'll get hot again. But my gripe with Roy is that his hot streaks probably won't emerge when it matters, like the playoffs. Some things you can't control, but dangit, when a 7'2" guy has a wide open layup and holds the ball at his chest for Noah to smack away, that's not streaky, that's not mentally weak, that's not bad luck. That's pitiful. I've been open to trading him for a year now (as much as I love him personally, and I do), and hope TPTB actively looks for a trade when he hits his next hot streak.
David West and George Hill. Still not enough data to comment.