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Thread: Pacers Lance Stephenson knows this could be his last shot

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    Chairman of the Boards 90'sNBARocked's Avatar
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    Default Pacers Lance Stephenson knows this could be his last shot

    http://www.indystar.com/article/2012...TS04/121018025

    New season, same questions surrounding Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson.


    Can the New York City street ball star transform his blacktop game to the NBA?


    Is Stephenson mature enough to handle being a rotation player?


    Is he a point or shooting guard?


    Stephenson has to answer to those questions quickly, not only to keep his current spot in the rotation, but to also remain part of the Pacers’ bright future. His contract is not guaranteed beyond this season.


    “I know I have to prove myself,” Stephenson said. “I’m just trying to work hard, stay on the floor and produce. I want to show everybody that I improved in the summer.”


    Stephenson’s biggest advocate — former president Larry Bird — was back at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Thursday. But Bird departed the building after practice, leaving Stephenson by himself to prove to the current front office and coaching staff that he’s ready for the increased role.


    “I see an extraordinary talent,” coach Frank Vogel said. “He’s got a good feel for the game. Everybody talks about his physical attributes, but they don’t understand how good of a feel he has with the basketball and his vision.”


    Stephenson, who has first-round talent but slid to the second round of the 2010 draft, has slowly matured on and off the court.


    He’s gone from having a bad attitude with teammates and not wanting to work to wanting to watch video with the coaches.


    He’s gone from always trying to make the flashy play off the dribble to wanting to make the simple pass.


    That’s what the Pacers want from Stephenson.


    “It was hard at first because early on all I tried to do was score and I played out of control,” Stephenson said. “I learned to be patient and let the game come to me. I had to transform my game.”


    Stephenson is backing up Paul George at shooting guard, and teaming with Gerald Green to be the team’s primary scoring threats off the bench.


    “We need him,” assistant coach Dan Burke said. “He’s been so eager to learn. He’s been a model citizen with everybody. He wants to watch tape. It’s just a matter being consistent in every area of the game”

    Stephenson heads into Friday’s preseason game at Orlando averaging 3.7 points on 39 percent shooting and 2.7 rebounds in almost 21 minutes per game.


    Stephenson acknowledged that he has a tendency to over-think when he’s in the game, because he wants to make sure he doesn’t make a mistake, instead of just playing the game.


    “I have to continue to let the game come to me,” he said. “That means finding the open man first, trying to do anything that’s going to help the team. The coaches show me film and I see I just need to slow it down.”


    If Stephenson puts it all together, he’ll have a chance to give the Pacers something they’ve been missing. He’s quick and strong enough to get to the basket. He can pass and he’s also improved his jump shot.


    “Lance is a freight train,” Vogel said. “Combine that with his feel for the game and his growth in understanding the details and how to play winning basketball.



    “I think he’s had a solid camp. He hasn’t been extraordinary, but he’s been really good.”


    Stephenson may be the backup shooting guard, but it’s uncertain that he’ll keep the spot.


    The Pacers won’t hesitate to move Green to the backup shooting guard and small forward spot if Stephenson struggles.


    “It’s up to me to show I deserve to keep it,” Stephenson said
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    Default Re: Pacers Lance Stephenson knows this could be his last shot

    Hope he makes it, both for him and the Pacers!

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    Default Re: Pacers Lance Stephenson knows this could be his last shot

    He has come so far from that kid who got into trouble in HS and the NY legal trouble. I really hope he makes good on his talent, he could really help the Pacers.
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    Default Re: Pacers Lance Stephenson knows this could be his last shot

    Am I the only one who thinks this kids talent has been absolutely stunted by being on this team? If you think of similar players, Marshon Brooks comes to mind. Their games are tremendously similar. Marshon got the the green light off the bench right away last year as a rookie. But the Nets had nothing to lose last season, they knew they were gonna be terrible. Pacers had something to lose, expectations to meet.

    I just think the situation he is in here has never allowed him to hone what he does best.
    You can't get champagne from a garden hose.

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    Default Re: Pacers Lance Stephenson knows this could be his last shot

    Quote Originally Posted by graphic-er View Post
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    Am I the only one who thinks this kids talent has been absolutely stunted by being on this team? If you think of similar players, Marshon Brooks comes to mind. Their games are tremendously similar. Marshon got the the green light off the bench right away last year as a rookie. But the Nets had nothing to lose last season, they knew they were gonna be terrible. Pacers had something to lose, expectations to meet.

    I just think the situation he is in here has never allowed him to hone what he does best.

    Probably a combination of poor coaching situation his rookie year. And expectations his sophomore year. But now with a training camp, and having proved a little something hopefully vogel can have a little more leeway to try things.

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    Default Re: Pacers Lance Stephenson knows this could be his last shot

    Quote Originally Posted by graphic-er View Post
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    Am I the only one who thinks this kids talent has been absolutely stunted by being on this team? If you think of similar players, Marshon Brooks comes to mind. Their games are tremendously similar. Marshon got the the green light off the bench right away last year as a rookie.
    I disagree. While on another team Lance may have gotten more opportunities to have some big scoring nights every once in a while, I believe that the Pacers insistence on making him learn the team game on the offensive and defensive end has given him the foundation to be a rotation player in the league for a long time.

    From everything I've read about the Nets last season, that locker room was a complete mess. Players didn't care whether the team won or lost. That's not the kind of environment you want for a young player learning about the league, especially one like Lance who had some issues.

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    Default Re: Pacers Lance Stephenson knows this could be his last shot

    “I see an extraordinary talent,” coach Frank Vogel said. “He’s got a good feel for the game. Everybody talks about his physical attributes, but they don’t understand how good of a feel he has with the basketball and his vision.”
    QFT

    So much for the Bird trolling.

    edit: speaking of Lance, can anyone comment on his game Tuesday? I was blacked out. Looking at the stats it looks like he let the game come to him and ended up having a pretty good floor game. How did his effort on D look? I thought it was poor the first couple games.
    Last edited by CJ Jones; 10-19-2012 at 01:43 AM.

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    Default Re: Pacers Lance Stephenson knows this could be his last shot

    Stephenson has to answer to those questions quickly, not only to keep his current spot in the rotation, but to also remain part of the Pacers’ bright future. His contract is not guaranteed beyond this season.

    If I remember right it wasn't guaranteed this year either, so that isn't something new. I think he'll be here next year if he continues to improve.

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    Default Re: Pacers Lance Stephenson knows this could be his last shot

    It's good to see that kind of attitude out of Lance

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    Default Re: Pacers Lance Stephenson knows this could be his last shot

    I think the preseason games are somewhat meaningless for Lance. Except for the fact he has exhibited some self control.

    We'll learn a lot the first game of the regular season.
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    “People talk about how quiet he [McKey] is, but he’s really been helpful. He gives a lot of insight to players in how to guard certain teams and what their weaknesses are. The whole team listens to him, and it makes my job a lot easier. Having players like him is what pro basketball is all about for me.” —Larry Brown

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    Default Re: Pacers Lance Stephenson knows this could be his last shot

    Quote Originally Posted by graphic-er View Post
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    Am I the only one who thinks this kids talent has been absolutely stunted by being on this team? If you think of similar players, Marshon Brooks comes to mind. Their games are tremendously similar. Marshon got the the green light off the bench right away last year as a rookie. But the Nets had nothing to lose last season, they knew they were gonna be terrible. Pacers had something to lose, expectations to meet.

    I just think the situation he is in here has never allowed him to hone what he does best.
    There's still hope for Lance. While it would have been fun to watch his skills in a Nets/Brooks kind of situation, it would have completely ruined him personally.
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    “People talk about how quiet he [McKey] is, but he’s really been helpful. He gives a lot of insight to players in how to guard certain teams and what their weaknesses are. The whole team listens to him, and it makes my job a lot easier. Having players like him is what pro basketball is all about for me.” —Larry Brown

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    Default Re: Pacers Lance Stephenson knows this could be his last shot

    I read the article last night. I'm really pulling for the guy. He's come a very long way. Pacers have done a great job turning this kid around. Just hope he is given ample opportunity to prove himself and not get a short leash. I know I bring this up a lot, but Hans hasn't proved ****, and yet he continues to get lots of playing time. Just hope Lance is given a fair shot.
    Lance + Starting SG = Awesome

    Now really free Lance!

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    Default Re: Pacers Lance Stephenson knows this could be his last shot

    If he is going to make in impact and stick on this team long term he is going to have to do it this year. He is now on an established playoff team, not a team looking for an identity. There is an opening on the second unit if he really wants it, but he is not the only one fighting for it. He has competition with OJ, Sam Young, Green, and even DJ and Little hansbrough. They will all be fighting for playing time, well if they all make the team. Lance has the upperhand in that he has been here the longest, but he better show up or he will end up in a suite and off the team next year.

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    Default Re: Pacers Lance Stephenson knows this could be his last shot

    Quote Originally Posted by pacers74 View Post
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    If he is going to make in impact and stick on this team long term he is going to have to do it this year. He is now on an established playoff team, not a team looking for an identity. There is an opening on the second unit if he really wants it, but he is not the only one fighting for it. He has competition with OJ, Sam Young, Green, and even DJ and Little hansbrough. They will all be fighting for playing time, well if they all make the team. Lance has the upperhand in that he has been here the longest, but he better show up or he will end up in a suite and off the team next year.

    It may be he has to go to Europe for a year or two or to the NBDL where he can PLAY. He needs the foundation he has here and he needs minutes on the court.
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    Default Re: Pacers Lance Stephenson knows this could be his last shot

    Maybe the summer, and the fact that the Pacers brought in both Augustin and Green, has made Lance wake up. It sounds like he is now interested in the team concept and is also willing to take instruction because he knows he will have very limited floor time to prove himself to even be worth a roster spot this year as opposed to being an inactive practice body.

    If there is truth to what Vogel said here, Lance will get his shot early in the season as Vogel explores rotations. It will be extremely difficult for him due to actual depth that has been accumulated in front of him.

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    Default Re: Pacers Lance Stephenson knows this could be his last shot

    If Lance can play with DJ and Green, we could really have a fun second unit this year.

    Hopefully he is finally ready. I am tired of hearing how great he is but never seeing it.
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    Default Re: Pacers Lance Stephenson knows this could be his last shot

    Whether or not this is the last season for Lance, it is not his last chance in the NBA. Gerald Green is proof of that.

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    Default Re: Pacers Lance Stephenson knows this could be his last shot

    Last Friday,it was nice to here the crowd(probably mostly 55er's) cheer for Lance coming into the game. Compared to people on this borad the last couple years it was nice to see. Its nice to see people are apparently giving him a chance this season.

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    Default Re: Pacers Lance Stephenson knows this could be his last shot

    I know this has been said before, but this whole Lance thing reminds of the whole Jonathon Bender thing. Let's hope he pans out unlike Bender. All we heard was how awesome Bender was in practice. He did produce in some games, but so has Lance just not as many as Bender yet. Let's hope he works out. I got all excited when he played well as rookie during the summer league. I hope he turns out to be good rotation guy this year.
    The best thing about the experiment is we shell out big buck for Lance like we did fro Bender.

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    Default Re: Pacers Lance Stephenson knows this could be his last shot

    Quote Originally Posted by pizza guy View Post
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    If Lance can play with DJ and Green, we could really have a fun second unit this year.

    Hopefully he is finally ready. I am tired of hearing how great he is but never seeing it.
    You mean if DJ and Green can play with Lance. Born ready is better than those two guys
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    Default Re: Pacers Lance Stephenson knows this could be his last shot

    Quote Originally Posted by Pacergeek View Post
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    You mean if DJ and Green can play with Lance. Born ready is better than those two guys
    I think pizza guy had it right. The other two guys have already shown what they are capable of, Lance? Not so much yet.

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    Default Re: Pacers Lance Stephenson knows this could be his last shot

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom White View Post
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    I think pizza guy had it right. The other two guys have already shown what they are capable of, Lance? Not so much yet.
    Yes, DJ has shown he could be the starting pg on the worst team in history and Green has shown that he can play his way out of the league
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    Default Re: Pacers Lance Stephenson knows this could be his last shot

    I've always really liked Lance and absolutely want him to succeed, but is there a less fitting nickname in the NBA than "Born Ready"? I can't think of a Pacer who came in less ready for the NBA than Lance. It's almost like how they give someone an ironic nickname that's the opposite of reality, like when they call a really huge guy "Tiny."

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    Default Re: Pacers Lance Stephenson knows this could be his last shot

    Quote Originally Posted by Pacergeek View Post
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    You mean if DJ and Green can play with Lance. Born ready is better than those two guys
    Green?

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    Default Re: Pacers Lance Stephenson knows this could be his last shot

    Quote Originally Posted by Ace E.Anderson View Post
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    Green?
    Why would that be green? He's clearly our most talented player.
    "I had to take her down like Chris Brown."

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