Let me say first that before the draft I knew nothing of Lance Stephenson. Despite his playground legend status and High School career in New York, this Hoosier had never heard of him. Since he was drafted 40th overall by the Pacers I have read a ton of articles and watched alot of videos trying to get myself up to speed. The press reviews are mixed and that seems to be the theme. "A ton of talent, but selfish and lazy" "Needed more time to polish his game" "Ballhog with tunnel vision" "Could be one of the most productive players of the 2010 draft." His reviews are all over the board.
Here's what I've seen during the clips I have watched. Lance is a terrific ballhandler and a physical player. He has range on his jumpshot, and he is a great finisher when taking it to the basket. Along with Lances ball handling skills I watched him dish some really pretty dimes off dribble penetration...which leads me to this...Lance has always been confident and claims he is "born ready" for any level of competition. Unfortunatley for Lance, the Pacers are stacked at the wing position (including 10th pick Paul George). So the question is this, Will Lance see the opportunity he has with this team and change his game to make an impact as an NBA point guard? Can he? Will he?
He has the natural talent, he has the ball handling skills (almost amedextrious< sp?), and when he's chosen to, he has the court vision. Is he "born ready" to not only be a flashy scorer, but a quarterback? Can he give up the ball after passing half court? Can he push the ball ahead to open teammates? Can he understand a point guards role to ALWAYS get your teammates going, and only look for your own shot against the time clock, in transition, or when your team is struggling to score? If Lance has the mindset to go with his "born ready" talent, he has a golden opportunity in front of him here with Indiana.
I would love nothing more than to hear that Lance shows up to summer league and asks to compete at point guard. If I watch Lance average 10 assist, 5 rebounds, 8 points, 1 to, and facilitate; I will be alot happier than watching him get 1 assist, 3 boards, 20 points, 5 to's, and dominate the ball. Lance has plenty of talent and swagger, lets give it a run and see what he can do. If he has the willingness (and the capacity) to take advantage of the Pacers desperate need, he could find himself with a whole lot of playing time very soon. If it doesn't work out, it was still worth the look.
What do ya think gentleman?