If the Indiana Pacers go up 2-0 in their series with the Miami Heat, one of the big stories of the game will be the play of the one and only Lance Stephenson.
Not one to shy away from controversy and a contentious interaction every now and then, Stephenson has also put on a show. With 23 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists well into the fourth quarter of the game, there have been stretches where Stephenson was the best player on the floor.
Among his most impressive plays on the night was this layup. David West found him as he cut to the rim, and Stephenson did a great job to finish in traffic.
Back when the Pacers were not dysfunctional and a borderline disaster, one of their defining qualities was their depth and toughness because of guys like Stephenson. If this apparent turnaround is substantive, Stephenson will play a key role as the Pacers try to finally exorcise the demons of the last two seasons and advance past the Heat.