On the first possession of the second quarter, Lance found C.J. Miles for a mid-range jumper and Stephenson had his first assist. His performance was up and down over the 18 minutes of playing time throughout the game. But there is no denying his presence is felt on the court.
During his first tour of duty with the Pacers, I often joked that Lance will never have a quiet 20-point game or double-digit assist game. To the contrary, everything he does on the court is loud and noticeable.
And quite often fun to watch.
Even when he’s chirping with LeBron James, the duo appearing to pick up where they left off in the 2014 playoffs, he’s giving the Pacers something they have lacked. Someone willing, even within in first ten minutes back with the team, to agitate.
He’s also not afraid to speak up with direct and immediate feedback, as Myles Turner found out after Lance delivered a sweet bounce pass to Turner near the hoop, but Turner passed up a point-blank scoring opportunity to kick the ball out for what would be a missed three-point attempt.
That is something the Pacers definitely need, a guy raising issues in real time instead of holding them in until a team meeting a couple of weeks later.
Lance doesn’t solve all of the Pacers problems with their reserve unit, but he appears to bring out an edge in Paul George and without a doubt, makes the Pacers more interesting to watch.
The Pacers crazy loss in Cleveland and Lance’s season debut were topics on the latest Locked on Pacers podcast. Check it out.