We watched Lance Stephenson at Summer League and thought in an intriguing player. A guy who might be able to find a niche in Indiana and help right away.
Then he got arrested for domestic violence, and the Pacers told him to stop working out at Conseco Fieldhouse. You knew he’d be back, the Pacers had already inked him to a contract, but the question was when and how would he be received.
He has been back, part of the Pacers training camp, keeping his head down and working hard. Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star reports this conversation with him.
…when Lance Stephenson walked by me on his way off the court Saturday and I casually asked how things are going for him.
“I’ve got to get better defensively,” he said right away. “I’m having a difficult time with off-the-ball defending.”
I was expecting him to say something like, “It’s going good. I’m glad to have a day off tomorrow.” Nope. He wanted to talk about his defense.
That is defense that has to get better if he really wants to see the court much. He’ll still have to deal with his legal issues, but he is back and working at Pacers camp. It will be interesting to see how and how much they use him.
You might think that the media would wholeheartedly be embracing the Miami Heat. But honestly, they’re covering it, we’re covering it, whatever, mostly out of necessity. It is a story. It will be a story. But if you want to know who’s really being given the sweet treatment? It’s Boston. The refrains goes as such: “Boston’s having lots of fun at training camp, but they’re also working hard. While everyone’s focused on the egos in Miami, the Celtics are having a genuinely enjoyable camp among professionals.” See? It’s really that easy. Here’s Nate Robinson walking around in Shaq’s shoes. After Shaq spanks someone with it. Awkward.
Here is the only thing that really matters from the Miami Heat’s televised (NBATV) intersquad scrimmage Friday night: 225 service men and women got to watch some big stars up close and for free.
Nothing else really can be counted on to translate into the regular season. The game was full of sloppy at times. But a few quick thoughts.
* The Heat want to run. They pushed the ball and tried to get transition or early-in-the-clock buckets consistently.
* In the halfcourt there was flashes of great ball and player movement. If that carries over to the season the Heat will be better on offense than we thought. Which is scary.
* LeBron James is that good. People got down on him after the Cavalier were eliminated from the playoffs last season, and after the summer of PR mistakes. But watching him even in a loose scrimmage you’re reminded what a freak of nature the man is on the court.
Al Thornton sent maybe the most frightening tweet we’ve ever seen Thursday night:
This may sound crazy but I just literally got hit by a car walking.. Wtf.
He was walking on the George Mason campus where the Wizards are conducting camp when the incident happened. He is doing fine and was back shooting jumpers at the Wizards practice today, but he was hearing it from teammates according to Michael Lee of the Washington Post.
Thornton was okay, but his tweets and lack of immediate response to teammates calls afterward led to some panic. “It’s crazy. I didn’t know nothing like that was going to happen” John Wall said. “He was on Twitter, like ‘I just got hit by a car. I don’t believe it.’ We had to call him, like, ‘You alright?’ His phone was off, so we think he was in the hospital or something. It was funny.”
Thornton told his teammates that the car was traveling around 15 to 20 miles an hour, but the driver never noticed the 6-foot-8, 225 pound forward crossing the street. “She nipped his leg and he jumped,” Wall said. “He had to jump on the car. If he didn’t jump on the car, he might be injured.”
Just good that everybody is able to laugh about this today.
After his junior year of high school, Daniel Orton had major reconstructive knee surgery. He didn’t play his senior year. He was limited in his one year at Kentucky by the knee, but the Orlando Magic drafted him at the end of the first year on promise.
The knee is still not right. Orton is now going to miss all of training camp strengthening and rehabbing his knee, according to FanHouse.
“He probably should not have played (at Kentucky), and should have spent the time rehabbing,” said Magic general manager Otis Smith, who decided to draft him. “And had we known the depth of his problem, he probably shouldn’t have played this summer.’
“I have a good future in this league, but I never did the right amount of, or the correct, rehab, after my surgery,” he said. “I knew I wasn’t getting any lift in my knees, but I never quite understood why. All I need now is to strengthen this, and I’ll be back on the court.”
The Magic don’t need him right now — Dwight Howard and Marcin Gortat will get the minutes, with Malik Allen behind them. Orton is a project. That needs to start with him healthy so there are no more setbacks, then you can start the real work.