Lance Stephenson's tenure with the Los Angeles Clippers has been rocky from the start. The starting role that he earned in training camp quickly faded and his minutes diminished, culminating in a DNP-Coach's Decision that left many wondering if there was something going on behind the scenes. But unlike in previous years, Lance seemed engaged on the bench, as he was often the first one up giving high fives after timeouts and celebrating made buckets. After putting up 10-5-4 in the Clippers win over the Pelicans Friday, arguably the most dominant they've looked over a complete game this year, it appears that Lance's patience has paid off.
Blake Griffin is just one teammate that has commented on his attitude, saying:
"I love Lance. I think he has a great spirit and I think he wants to be great, he wants to help out and wants to be a great teammate."
Even coach Doc Rivers had high praise for Lance following the game:
"He was trying to do energy plays - rebound, make plays, go downhill, make plays for everybody else, keep the game simple. When he does that I think he is terrific for our team, and overall I thought he did it most of the game."
As Lance stood by, DeAndre Jordan teased him while talking to reporters about a dunk he thought wasn't going to go down, all the no-look passes, and he capped it off by advising him to:
"Just stay Lance."
The Clippers certainly looked their best with him on the court so we should expect to see a healthy dose of Lance today and if he can keep it up, for the rest of the season. At the very least, it's reassuring to know that he's making a positive impact in the locker room and that the rest of the team is taking notice.
(Quotes courtesy of Ben Bolch - LA Times).