The Indiana Pacers own the best record in the Eastern Conference at 23-5 and much of the team’s success is due to the gritty Lance Stephenson.
Stephenson is a 6’5″, 230-pound shooting guard that is able to impact the game in a variety of ways. His current averages of 13.4 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.1 assists per contest in the 2013-2014 season show that he can give the Pacers a ton of help in multiple aspects of the game.
This tenacious 23-year-old is physical and acts as a spark plug for his team. Paul George is undoubtedly the leader of the Pacers but when necessary, Stephenson provides that extra ball of energy for the squad.
Stephenson struggled early in his career. His first two seasons in the league were nothing to write home about but he didn’t hang his head. During the Pacers’ remarkable season last year, Stephenson took advantage of his opportunity to step into a bigger role due to Danny Granger’s injury status. He was in the starting lineup for 72 regular season games and started in 19 playoff games. In his 2012-2013 campaign, Stephenson averaged a then career-high in points, rebounds, assists, minutes, field goal percentage and steals.
Thanks to his strong efforts and improved play, Stephenson has become a proven starter for the Pacers and he is more than just another guy on the floor these days.
Let’s not forget that Stephenson was given the nickname “Born Ready” in high school and for good reason. In high school, he became New York’s all-time leader in points scored with a tremendous 2,946 points! By beating out the likes of Christian Laettner, Jimmer Fredette, Stephon Marbury and the great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar(known as Lew Alcindor in high school), Stephenson is regarded by many as the greatest scorer in the history of New York.
High school basketball and the NBA are two different worlds. However, if a guy can score that many points in a basketball hotbed such a New York, then he is definitely a problem in the league! Stephenson has shown that he has game. He’s putting players on the floor with deadly dribbling moves and setting his teammates up with flashy passes. Stephenson has so much flavor in his game and it seems as if he is ready to put it all together to become a force in the league for years to come.