Whatever the outcome of the 2014 Eastern Conference Finals, it seems safe to say that Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson will not be on the Christmas card lists of any members of the Miami Heat.
The man known as “Sir Lance-a-lot,” at least if he had things his way, has taken to stirring things up with the star players on the Heat. First he made the rather inexplicable claim that LeBron James had “shown weakness” by talking back to Stephenson, that despite the fact that James won game four of this series in any other aspect you can think of.
On the court in game five Stephenson continued to mix things up, both with the officials and with the players on the Heat. On this play he got tangled up with Dwyane Wade and made sure that he did not back down.
Here is another observation about Stephenson in this game that seems relevant. From Howard Beck of Bleacher Report:
Lance Stephenson has spent more time talking to the referees than to his own teammates.
— Howard Beck (@HowardBeck) May 29, 2014
Through three quarters game five was one of ridiculously lopsided runs. On the one hand you had the Pacers scoring only 11 points in the second quarter, outscored by 15. On the other hand you had the Pacers running out and beating the Heat by 16 points in the third quarter.
Which team is going to be able to manage their emotions and level things out after these big runs? If the Pacers are the team to do it, one might argue that they will do so in spite of the behavior of the mercurial Stephenson.