Lance Stephenson started all 19 playoff games for the Pacers last season during a run that got them to within one game of advancing to the NBA Finals.
Indiana reloaded in the offseason with a couple of nice free agent acquisitions, however, and with Danny Granger returning from injury, Stephenson may be better suited as a reserve while coming off the bench.
In a recent interview after practicing for the Knox Indy Pro-Am Summer League, Stephenson said he’d have no problem shifting his role if that’s what the team will require.
From Michael Pointer of Indystar.com:
Q: Despite having an outstanding season, there’s been a lot of speculation you may go back to coming off the bench this season, especially if Danny Granger is healthy and ready. Would you be OK with that?
A: I’m just coming in to play hard. Whatever coach (Frank Vogel) decides to do, I think it’s a great decision. Me coming off the bench, Danny coming off the bench, either way, we’re deep. Whatever helps the team, that’s what I want to do.
In addition to Granger coming back, the Pacers added Luis Scola and Chris Copeland to fortify their bench, which (along with the high number of turnovers) was the main weakness the team showed in pushing the eventual champion Heat to seven games during the Eastern Conference Finals.
It’s the right answer from Stephenson, who at just 22 years old has already proven to be a volatile presence on this up-and-coming Pacers squad — and we mean that as a compliment, in the best way possible.
As they do every Monday during the season, the PBT Power Rankings came out and while the top three remained the same there were some climbers.
Specifically, the Thunder at No. 4 and the Pacers at No. 5.
Why they are there is the latest PBT Extra topic with Jenna Corrado. The simple answer is they are both excellent teams. Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and Paul George are all playing like Top 10 players.
The ProBasketballTalk NBA podcast is back.
Sure we’re a month into the season, but we’re going to get this podcast rolling again and you can expect us on each Monday and Thursday, with a variety of guests talking everything around the NBA.
Today NBC’s own Dan Feldman joins Kurt Helin to talk Kobe Bryant‘s retirement announcement, and what that means both for the Lakers going forward this season and beyond, but also what that could mean for Byron Scott’s future as the Lakers’ coach.
We also delve into the “showdown” between the Lakers and Sixers on Thursday, talk about the job Brett Brown is doing there as coach (a good one), we talk some Warriors, some Draymond Green, Pistons, Spurs and Pacers to round it all out.
Listen to the podcast below or you can listen and subscribe via iTunes.
It’s this simple: The Sacramento Kings are 5-5 when DeMarcus Cousins plays this season, 1-7 when he sits. (And that win number is a big misleading, they looked like they would have beaten Charlotte with him, but when he left with back pain they lost, they could easily be 6-4 with him.)
So it’s good news that Cousins is expected to return to the Sacramento lineup Monday night. Well not good for Rick Carlisle and the Mavericks, but good for the Kings, as reported by James Ham at CSNBayArea,com.
This season Cousins is averaging 27.9 points and 11.2 rebounds a game, he has a true shooting percentage above the league average (56.3 percent for Cousins) and he has a PER of 27.1 which is sixth best in the league.
Combine him with the numbers Rajon Rondo has put up lately the Kings become much more dangerous. They’d be even scarier if everyone stayed healthy and George Karl would settle on a lineup.
It was expected Kobe Bryant would retire at the end of this season.
It was not expected Kobe would make that official on Nov. 29 — it’s caught the media at Staples Center Sunday (of which I was one) and the fans by surprise.
In this PBT Extra, I talk with Jenna Corrado about the mood inside Staples Center Sunday.
More importantly, I discuss the sense I got that Kobe understands it’s time to walk away, and he is at peace with that.