Lance Stephenson, soaring above Carmelo Anthony, has been a do-it-all perfomer at the 2 spot.
Lance Stephenson continues to get the job done at the 2 spot for the Pacers.
In spite of him exceeding everybody's expectations during the regular season, there were still some lingering questions about his maturity to deliver the goods when it matters the most.
So far, those doubts have been put to rest by the player dubbed "Born Ready."
His playoff stat line (8.3 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 4.1 APG) may not be eye-popping, but with the way he has performed, he has the potential to be as versatile as 2013 NBA Most Improved Player Paul George.
If his 10 points, eight rebounds and nine assists in Game 5 versus the Hawks are any indication, he also has what it takes to put up several triple-doubles in the years to come.
The knock on Stephenson is his tendency to be inconsistent on offense. He does, however, make up for this with his exceptional rebounding ability for a shooting guard.
In his last three playoff appearances, he has averaged 12 rebounds—a postgame stat you would normally see from a power forward or center.
This asset allows the Pacers to create second opportunities and open up the floor for wide-open looks. Case in point: D.J. Augustin's fourth triple against the Knicks in Game 1 off a Stephenson rebound.
As you can see by that video, Lance is also an above-average passer.
With his fearlessness and athleticism, he can slash to the hoop at will. If he can also work on his mid-range game some more and score in the 12-15 point range, the Pacers will be even tougher to beat.
Heed the words of Paul George:
Lance, for the past three games, has been one of our best players. When he's playing at that level, we're a tough team. We feed off his energy every time he plays at that level. That's probably the biggest thing for us, him continuing to play at that level.
Well said, Paul.