BTW, the reason why Lance is special is due to the things he brings this particular starting lineup:
1) Puts pressure on the D because at any moment he could drive to the rack. Paul is a threat as well, but Lance is important here too.
2) Allows Paul George to play his natural position, which is SF.
3) Sees the floor and can feed the post and pass better than any other starter, possibly with the exception of West. This is HUGE and makes our other players better. I would argue that he doesn't have as many assists as he should have because last year they had him spotting up for threes instead of using his best talents. Honestly, I think they were forcing him to play off the ball to improve his shooting.
4) Toughness. Other than West, our starters cannot be described as being tough guys.
5) Edgy. Unlike our other guys, he's got an edge that gets under the skin of the opposition. He is no Reggie Miller, but that's what I'm talking about.
6) Runs the fast break very, very well.
7) Now this one is potential. I foresee that he will develop a consistent mid range shot that he will be able to get off any time because he can move so well with the ball. This is a HUGE deal and will open up the rest of his game. He will use that to draw the defender then drive by...go to the rack or dish. It will be huge if and when he gets this down. I'm already seeing that he's worked on it...
This is the crux.
Lance proponents (at least speaking for myself) see that he has not been given the long leash that PG and others have been given. We're convinced he will break out this year if he gets it.
It could be that "freeing Lance" earlier or in the future is a bad idea. But no one can win the debate until he gets that chance. If he does, nobody on either side will be upset if our side wins.
I'd like to point out that Stuckey's contract pays him over $8m per year. And that he signed his big contract at age 25, i.e. a year older than Lance would be next season. In fairness, he'd already have a couple of seasons of 15+ ppg at that point. On Lance's side, he can't equal Stuckey's production (yet), but on the other hand being a contributor on a much better team should work in his favor. From a market value perspective, I think Stuckey's deal seems like a reasonable benchmark.
What I'm saying is that where you see a short leash, I see a choker. Not to compare him to a dog, but Lance needed trained. They knew all along he has a lot of potential but he's untamed and they wanted to push him to the corner to work on his shot. I think it's paying off some right now...and that choker has been taken off. IOW, Lance has basically been freed. Let's see how the game goes tonight. It does appear that they are letting him play his game this year...where they did not last year.
How we can keep both lance and Danny beyond this year seems just about impossible. If Danny is through we likely don't sign him and if Danny is any good we can't afford him.
He won't. And as much as you want it to happen, this is not Lance's team. He is not getting the ISO play to win it all. He isn't going to be the DWayne Wade to Paul George's Lebron. If you want that then you don't want West. You really don't want Hibbert. Lance can be unleashed to grab the ball off of the rim and run with it. And it doesn't seem to be enough. He can get the 12 fga and that won't be enough.
When player successes come at the cost of the team being completely different than they have been. And been good at. Then your desire for that player successes is unwarranted.
And that goes for anyone. I don't want Hibbert shooting more than 12fga. I don't want George flinging up 6 3pointers. I don't want West playing over 35mpg. I don't want Hill being a traditional point. I don't want Granger coming back and taking over. I don't want Lance to be the man that has a role that only Paul George deserves to have.
Nobody is saying they want this to be Lance's team. It's Paul George's team and that's not up for debate. But this thread is about whether Lance should be the starting PG...although IMO the real question is if Lance will be given the opportunity to initiate the offense. That's not to say he's Batman on this team. That title belongs to Paul and nobody is taking it away.
...and Lance "getting his" is not about getting his points. It's about freeing him to use his talents. It's about assists. It's about rebounds. It's about good defense. It's about good FG%. It's about solidifying his mid range game. It's about going to the rack. It's about his moxy and his toughness. It's about the fast break.
It's about a changing of the guards with Miami...powering through Chalmers for an And-One... shutting down an aging DWade (eventually)...and rubbing the man's nose in it.
Love's a a quicker basketball player than Lance, and Danny's better at taking the ball to the rack even though once he gets there he can't make the shot or set his teammates up? Gotcha mattie
I like Stephenson, but I like him as an off guard at SG. I think having him next to Hill, actually masks Hill's shortcomings...lack of creative passing and playmaking ability for others. However, I don't like Stephenson as my everyday point guard, I think it forces him to run the offense and take care of the ball (a job that Hill can easily do and do efficiently), whereas I think Lance is at his best when he's looking to attack and make plays, and not worry about the other things. Just because he COULD play PG, doesn't mean we need to put him there. I remember when LeBron was a rookie, everyone said he'd be a point guard...because he COULD play point guard; however, fast forwarding to today, he's much better as a 2, 3, or 4.
My prediction: Lance Stephenson finishes the year #2 in the league in FG% for SGs only behind D. Wade.
Asking Lance to have the same size leash as the other starters isn't the same as asking for it to be "his" team only.
I'm asking that he have the same leash Paul George had two years ago, when Danny and West were the key go to players. Paul got to make mistakes without constant fear of getting jerked to the pine. Granted, if Lance continues to make mistakes ongoing it must be addressed. But we haven't found out if one of our most efficient players will stay just as efficient if his shots and touches are significantly increased.
Now, if you don't care whether or not he's a James Harden type and prefer we not find out because you are attached to everyone else, that's another issue.
Without that "leash" Lance wouldn't have been nearly as successful as he was last season. He needed the structure.
But I really didn't see that as a leash. I saw it as he was simply the fifth option on offense. Like PG was at one point. So, he had to do other things (rebound, play defense, irritate Wade and Lebron) to help the team. He had to move without the ball to get an open shot. (And he got a lot better at that.)
So, who in the offense would you like to move Lance ahead of? PG? I'd imagine that would be a resounding no. Hill? I'm sure some of you would, but I'd argue this team needs Hill's stability, especially because the Pacers are prone to turnovers. Rather than what Lance brings. West and Hibbert aren't really controlling the ball much, but I'd imagine no one would want to take shots from them.
So unless we're giving him Hill's role. (Which, IMO..would be silly. It's best to let Hill control the team, thereby controlling when it's appropriate for Lance to do what Lance does best, rather than Lance forcing things.) He's not moving from the fifth option.
The alternative, is that Lance plays the sixth man position and is the first option in that unit. Which, so long as he gets his minutes, would probably explain why Lance was excited about that possibility.
Last edited by Sookie; 11-02-2013 at 05:46 PM.
This sentiment that Lance was never allowed to make mistakes or was unfairly boxed in is a myth. He was given the role that his skills and production warranted last season.
"What you are witnessing right now is the old Danny Granger of old!!" - Chris Denari 01/01/2014
Just because that I don't want to give the keys to Lance doesn't mean I don't want him to progress. In fact getting rid of the leash might have him run into traffic.
Oh and I am all for lengthening the leash when it comes to rebounding. I love it.