When you first saw the title to this article, you probably wondered: What in the world is this guy smoking? Labeling three unpolished rookies as the new big 3? What about the LeBron, Wade, and Bosh? Did the summer of 2010 not just happen?
True, these three young talents are not of the likes of three veteran talents of the Heat, but do not underestimate them: The Pacers are gonna make you regret that this season.
"Born Ready." Lance Stephenson received this nickname from Bobbito Garcia, a courtside announcer at a Rucker Park tournament. And let me tell you, Stephenson lives up to that nickname.
Stephenson went to Lincoln High School near his home town of Coney Island. Licoln has seen its share of basketball greatness, being the home of Stephon Marbury and Sebastian Telfair.
According to Lance's head coach Dwayne Morton, Stephenson always spoke about outdoing Stephon and Sebastian. He also says that Lance is the best player he had ever coached at Lincoln HS. Stephenson holds the New York State record for most accumulated points throughout his career with 2,946.
Due to some off the court issues, Stephenson had to delay his college commitment process, thus landing him at the University of Cincinnati, where he did not have much of a chance to shine.
Albeit his one year stint at the college level, he is truly, Born Ready.
Paul George, from Palmdale, California, is easily in the top 5 of most versatile players in this years NBA Draft, along with Stephenson. During his senior season at Pete Knight HS, George averaged 25 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, and three steals a game. He was also named the Golden League MVP.
At 6-foot-8, George can play both the guard and forward positions, and he's proved that with his ability to shoot the ball from 3 (45 percent in his freshman year at Fresno State), and his ability to rebound the ball (6.7 boards a game during his college career).
George is also one of the nations most explosive players, being known as a high flyer (see video). George is definitely a player to lookout for this season, or he is going to tear you apart with his versatility.
Most people have probably never heard of this guy, and seriously, I didn't either. That is, until I watched the Pacers Summer League team, and was curious who the dude was with the awesome name.
As I continued to watch this guy named Magnum Rolle, I saw that he wasn't just a really cool name. He was an incredible talent. I don't think I have ever been so high on a player that in essence, is a nobody.
This dude is just a ball hawk. He seems to have the unique ability to see the future, enabling him to always be in the right spot to grab a rebound. Not only are his rebounding instincts great, but so is his ability to defend, averaging over two blocks a game during the Summer League, even picking up four blocks during one of the games.
Not to mention his shot selection is outstanding for an unpolished player such as Rolle (.574 FG, 13.4 PPG).
He didn't pick up a basketball until he was 14, and get this. The first shot he took? Airball straight into the bushes at his local park. Just be aware of this guy when he comes to town: He just might Rolle right over you.
As you can see, you don't need superstars like James, Wade, or Bosh on your team in order to have an elite trio of players. I am not even a Pacers fan, yet I am extremely excited to see these players in action.
Get pumped, Pacers fans.
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