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Quietly, Lance Stephenson is back and trying to fit in with Pacers

Oct 3, 2010, 2:31 PM EST

Thumbnail image for lstephenson.jpgWe watched Lance Stephenson at Summer League and thought in an intriguing player. A guy who might be able to find a niche in Indiana and help right away.

Then he got arrested for domestic violence, and the Pacers told him to stop working out at Conseco Fieldhouse. You knew he’d be back, the Pacers had already inked him to a contract, but the question was when and how would he be received.

He has been back, part of the Pacers training camp, keeping his head down and working hard. Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star reports this conversation with him.

…when Lance Stephenson walked by me on his way off the court Saturday and I casually asked how things are going for him.

“I’ve got to get better defensively,” he said right away. “I’m having a difficult time with off-the-ball defending.”

I was expecting him to say something like, “It’s going good. I’m glad to have a day off tomorrow.” Nope. He wanted to talk about his defense.

That is defense that has to get better if he really wants to see the court much. He’ll still have to deal with his legal issues, but he is back and working at Pacers camp. It will be interesting to see how and how much they use him.

  1. Michael Warren - Oct 3, 2010 at 5:08 PM

    I definitley want to see Lance put the situation that happened, behind him and get a chance to show what he can do in his rookie season. He’s got a lot of talent. He’s got a lot of potential. He just needs to dedicate himself to playing defense. He’s got all the tools defensively: power, quickness, size and athleticism. He’s also got a near 7 foot wingspan. When he reaches his potential he can be a younger Ron Artest type of player.

  2. cygnus x-1 - Oct 3, 2010 at 6:23 PM

    he will have plenty of time to work on his game in practice since obrien won’t play young guys in games even when the pacers are out of the race ine in jan.god help him if he doesn’t fit his stratagy because he won’t adapt his stlye to fit the players he has. if they don’t fit he just won’t play them. look at what he has done to players like tj ford and look what he is doing to josh mcroberts, I mean they need help at pf but he never plays the guy to see if he is worth keeping or not. he played well against the lakers in a game last year but since they lost he dismissed it and wouldn’t play him for another week after. how do you get better if you are not given consistant min. to prove you can play.

  3. Zachariah Blott - Oct 3, 2010 at 11:09 PM

    Lance is a nut – he definitely isn’t “fixed” and ready to move forward. He is correct, though, his off-the-ball defense is terrible. Here’s why he ranked as having one of the worst summers of every player:
    http://www.hoopskarma.com/hk/2010/8/20/players-who-have-had-good-and-bad-summers.html

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