Lance Stephenson has been a known basketball phenom for many years, despite having his detractors. Drafted in the second round by the Indiana Pacers in this year’s NBA draft, he’s working to make the Pacers roster and had a solid summer league playing in front of Larry Bird in Orlando. Here’s some exclusive video of the Lance’s thoughts about playing in front of a legend, and the difference between playing in college and playing in the NBA:
Game 2- 3:00 game
Orlando (0-1) vs. Indiana (1-0)
Pacers win 86-77 Box Score
• Was not a very pretty game- lots of fouls and TO’s (64 total fouls and 31 TO’s)
• Larry Bird was sitting one row behind me during the game and was complaining to the officials the entire time. It reminded me of Michael Jordan at Bobcats games, he does the same thing. Its humorous listening to him and Coach Jim O’Brien, who is sitting beside of Bird, go back and forth. You get the feeling sitting there that Larry Bird probably wishes he could get out there and play again, as he was getting frustrated several times with certain plays or players (especially Josh McRoberts)
• Josh McRoberts and Daniel Orton both got ejected midway through the 3rd quarter after they got into a pushing match.
Lance Stephenson ( 30 min., 8-10 FG, 5-8 FT, 4 reb, 3 ass., 21 tp)- Lance proved a lot of critics wrong in his first professional game, leading his team to the victory while running the PG the majority of the game. Lance looked very comfortable and in his element through out the game. He is deadly in the open court, where you can see his NYC street ball side come out. Lance is very strong and takes it to the rim with out any fear, with the ability to finish. Several outlets questioned Lance’s athleticism, and while he is not the most athletic player on the floor, he did exhibit good speed and quickness at the PG, and one nice one handed dunk in traffic after splitting the double team from the P and R. He is great in P and R situations, as he changes speeds incredibly well, and has the ability to see and hit the open roll man. He covers a lot of ground and few dribbles and is quick in the open court. Has a good feel for the ball, although sometimes he got himself into trouble by over dribbling. He was smart and was able to establish good post position against the smaller Jerome Randle and get easy scores in the paint. He had one incredible no look pass in the 4th quarter which led to a lay up. He did not shoot often from the perimeter, but when he did he showed a quick release and his jumper was falling today. Sometimes he carries the ball, and picks his dribble up to early in certain situations. Overall, a great showing for the second round pick, showing that his style is more suited for the pro game.
Josh McRoberts (16 min., 3-7 FG, 2-4 3 pt, 2 reb., 10 tp) – Before getting himself ejected for fighting, Josh had a decent game, although it was up and down. One minute he would be showing off his much improved 3 ball and the next minute he would commit a stupid foul. We will see in the coming games if he can put it all together and keep his cool.
Paul George (25 min, 2-7 FG, 1-5 3pt, 7-7 FT, 4 reb, 12 tp)- Paul George is going to be a project. You can see why the Pacers picked him. He is extremely athletic with a pretty decent looking jumper. He can run the floor like a deer and is active on the boards. He sometimes over dribbles and forced some bad shots. Larry Bird better hope he doesnt become the next Julian Wright.
Thomas Heurtel (16 min., 2-6 FG, 1-5 3 pt, 4 reb, 4 ass, 6 tp)- Heurtel’s numbers don’t exactly stand out, but the young PG from France played a solid game. Thomas is very savvy and smart with the basketball. He makes the right play and doesn’t force shots. He is a good passer and makes the right decision on P and R plays. He plays under control and knows his limitations and limits. He is also a good shooter and has a nice pull-up, even though the stats don’t indicate it.
Stanley Robinson (20 min., 1-4 FG, 7 reb., 2 ass., 4 tp)- Stanley showed me what I already knew before coming into this game. I knew he was athletic and a good rebounder. He has great body control in the air and is active on both ends on the boards. He grabs rebounds with 2 hands and secures them. He also showed me some good defense on George. He must continue to work on his jumper and his handle.
Patrick Ewing Jr (30 min., 7-17,3 reb., 15 tp)- It was interesting to see Patrick Ewing coach his son on the court. Jr is not afraid to shoot the ball. He has good form on his jumper with good rotation. Sometimes he tends to fade when he shoots though. He is also very athletic and acrobatic.
Jeff Adrian (20 min., 2-4 FG, 9-15 FT, 10 reb., 13 tp)- Adrian is a beast to put it mildly. His arms are the size of my legs. Adrian did well in his time on the court. He is a very strong, physical rebounder, who grabs the ball with 2 hands. He can finish at the rim, one time almost bringing the goal down with a 2 handed dunk. Needs to work on his offensive game, as he looks lost on that end. Could be the next Brandon Bass.
Daniel Orton (13 min. 1-8 FG, 3 reb., 5 FL, 3 tp)- Very poor showing from the first round pick out of Kentucky. Not only did he get ejected for fighting, but when he was on the floor he did nothing. He did display a good box out and ability to establish good post position, while giving a target hand. But when he gets the ball he is in too much of a hurry and puts up a poor shot. He does have the ability to draw fouls, with a wide body. He should have attended another year of school to get more reps.