Indiana Pacers swingman Lance Stephenson has his first taste of NBA success this year thanks to Danny Granger, who spent most of the season injured.
Stephenson saw his minutes nearly triple from just 10 in 2011-12 to nearly 30 in 2012-13 and with the increased minute totals came fantastic results as the Brooklyn native averaged 9 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal per game – that on top of extremely solid defense.
But with Danny Granger expected to return to the starting lineup as he’s apparently healthy (well, expects to be come the start of the 2013-14 season), Stephenson is expected to be regulated back to bench duty, something he’s more than fine with – at least right now.
“I’m ready for any challenge,” Stephenson said. “If Danny comes back, that’s great for us. We’ll be a better team. No one can stop us with me coming off the bench as a sixth man.
“I just want him to get healthy. We’ll all get ready for next season and show everybody we’re ready for the challenge.”
Stephenson might be wise to say all the right things as Granger will enter the final year of his 5 year, $60 million dollar extension and will be a hot commodity on the trade market, a move that would open up the needed starting minutes.