My friend, who gives a **** about the past? Seriously, the past is irrelevant here. Everything has to do with this season. We're all in now and we want to win now!
What I see in Danny is an elite spot up shooter with size. An elite spot up shooter is an immense help for a post-heavy offense. Opposing defenses won't be able to double our bigs if all of our perimeter players are great shooters because when they do our shooters will make them pay.
What I see in Danny is a Manu Ginobili / OKC Harden-type of player. An all-around, versatile player that thrives when he has the ball in his hands. Therefore, I want to put the ball in his hands. I realize that this is not very likely to happen with the starting unit and that on top that our bench is lacking in shot creators and thus I consider very reasonable to use Lance a lot in this capacity.
However, I have also said the following a number of times:
I'm extremely glad with how things are right now as long as Lance keeps up his excellent perimeter shooting. Frankly, the only thing I want is a 40% 3 point shooter in our starting line-up and someone to create shots alongside the bench unit. I don't care who that shooter or who that creator is. I just want them to exist. Prior to the season I thought that DG was that shooter and Lance was that creator. If Lance ends up being both that shooter and that creator then I'm going to be overjoyed because that would mean that he's an All-Star.
This team probably has 7 players that are good enough to be a starter in this league. Having too many good player is NOT a problem.
I have clarified that I believe that Lance should finish the games most of the time. My arguments revolve around fit. Therefore, who is starting really is irrelevant to me.
Lance Stephenson has been used as an example of what can go wrong when a player is hyped too much too soon.
The funny thing is that now, after being written off more times than a zombie in a 1950s horror movie, Stephenson is showing there was something to the buzz.
Ironically, for a player dubbed "Born Ready" in high school, Stephenson has, three seasons into his NBA career, slowly and steadily, made himself into a player.
New York City basketball scout Tom Konchalski remembers hearing about how good Stephenson was when the player was in grade school in the Coney Island section of Brooklyn.
"He's had to carry the burden of celebrity since he was in the fourth grade because of the players who came before him from Coney Island, from Stephon Marbury to Sebastian Telfair," Konchalski said. "You shouldn't have to live up to that level of pressure."
For a while, he did. As an eighth-grader, Stephenson outplayed O.J. Mayo, then considered the top high school player, at a summer camp. At Lincoln High in Brooklyn, he broke the state high school career scoring record set by Telfair, while leading the Railsplitters to four consecutive Public School Athletic League titles. He even appeared in his own internet reality TV show, Born Ready, that followed him through his sophomore and junior seasons.
However, though he averaged 28.9 points and 10.2 points his senior year, people were beginning to doubt Stephenson. The summer before his senior year, the 6-5 guard was cut from USA Basketball's Under-18 team. Because of legal woes and recruiting questions, he went from being recruited by Kansas to signing with Cincinnati. The NCAA didn't clear him to play for the Bearcats until a little over a week before their first game.
In the 2009-10 season, he was the Big East's Freshman of the Year, averaging 12.3 points and 5.4 rebounds, but he wasn't drafted until the second round by the Pacers, the 40th player chosen overall in the 2010 draft.
His first two seasons with the Pacers, he averaged 10 minutes and 2.8 points a game and started only one game. His minutes were limited by often questionable shot selection, as he made only 35.4% of his attempts from the floor.
As he struggled, he talked regularly with Larry Bird, even after Bird stepped down as the Pacers' president in the summer of 2012 and again, when Bird returned to the Pacers' front office this summer.
When Pacers forward Danny Granger went down with a knee injury last season, Stephenson stepped up. He improved his three-point shooting, which in turn opened things up for him to go to the basket. He worked on his rebounding and prided himself in his defense, even asking to guard LeBron James in the playoffs. After averaging 8.8 points and 3.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists a game in the regular season, he improved those averages to 9.4 points, 7.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists in the playoffs.
"The older I get, the game slows down for me," Stephenson said. "I think I've learned a lot. I know when I can penetrate and when I can shoot. Before, I didn't realize when I was rushing, but I learned, watching other players. Indiana has made me a better player. Everybody on the team is mature. There are no bad role models."
When Stephenson was in high school, his father, Lance, Sr., was criticized for allowing the Born Ready project and for being too involved in his son's recruitment. But surrounded by his father, mother, brother, cousin and two young daughters in Indianapolis, that same sense of family helps to to stabilize Stephenson's life.
"When you have kids, you have to be more mature," Stephenson said. "They're looking up to you. They're just like me. They like to joke around all the time."
Stephenson is 23, with more growing up to do, but he's come a long way from Lincoln.
"To get on the floor with the Pacers, he's had to totally reinvent himself," Konchalski said. "In high school, he was just a scorer. What got him on the floor in Indianapolis was his ability to do other things. He could defend multiple positions. He's one of the best rebounding guards in the league. He's a good passer."
What Stephenson hasn't left behind is the New York swagger that got him noticed in the first place. In the Pacers' first two games this season, Stephenson is averaging 17.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists. With Granger again out with a calf injury, Stephenson is leading the team, averaging 38.5 minutes a game.
"I love the pressure," he said. "I love when all the eyes are on me. It shows that you can never be slacking. I like all the challenges. I like how people looked down on me and said I couldn't make it. Once I got the opportunity, I knew I could be a successful player in the NBA."
Love the bolder parts. He stepped up big time in the playoffs, the rebounding is awesome. Having no bad role models is obviously great. I didn't know his whole family was here, but that's pretty cool. Glad they're all around to support him. Definitely like that he still has all the confidence. He's kept that while maturing, and it could be dangerous for everyone else.
I shouldn't be forced to say the same damn thing over and over again.
Unless Lance regresses then this issue is settled. The new question is whether we can even find a role for Granger or if there is a deal we can get for him that doesn't hurt next year's cap...
"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."
I don't have any agenda when it comes to getting Granger into the lineup because that is what I want...I just want Lance to be put in the best position to help the Team. Lance will still finish the game ( when needed ) and he will still get some burn with the Starters....I just think that he'd be best utilizing his talents to help both the 1st and ( primarily ) the 2nd unit.
You are right....it's fair to wonder. But to be clear, if having Lance primarily play with the 2nd Unit means that it would push him over to be the 1st Man off the bench and push Granger into a "spot up shooter and scorer" that is a 4th/5th scoring option in the Starting Lineup....so be it.
Last edited by CableKC; 11-03-2013 at 09:36 PM.
Ash from Army of Darkness: Good...Bad...I'm the guy with the gun.
Granger is a rental. A rental who hasn't really played in 16 or 17 months. I don't believe he will recover well enough by the time he's headed out. I certainly don't want him to be a key player going down the stretch and see that scar tissue build up again on that knee. It will jack up our chances at a ring.
Edit: when I say I don't want him a key player, I don't want him closing games. Let him put some points up along the way, but not be a key member determining whether this team advances.
Last edited by BlueNGold; 11-03-2013 at 09:31 PM.
My friend, I fail to see the reason that you quoted my post in your previous post. I stated that Lance will be re-signed. You said that Granger will not be re-signed. I fail to see the relativity between my original statement and your answer.
But I digress. You say that Granger is a rental. Ignoring that he cannot be a rental since he has spent his whole career here I'll ask this:
Who cares? We're attempting to win a championship now! I'm very aware that Granger will probably walk this summer but there is a whole season to be played before that. If Granger increases our chances to go to the Finals and win a ring then why should I care about what will happen in the summer? Let's focus on this very important season first.
Ash from Army of Darkness: Good...Bad...I'm the guy with the gun.
Where some of you want a shooter, I want a basketball player with a lot more skills. Passing, dribbling AND shooting. Lance is getting better by the day. Danny is getting older and isn't even healthy. Not even sure why anyone is thinking someone other than Lance would be the starter given the fact we had the best starting unit in the NBA last year and the alternative is to bring on a guy just coming off surgery...