May 18, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers shooting guard Lance Stephenson (1) reacts in game six of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs against the New York Knicks at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The Pacers won 106-99. Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Indiana Pacers: Danny Granger or Lance Stephenson? Who Starts?

That will be the biggest question heading into the next season for the Indiana Pacers. For me, I just keep going back and forth on it, and I know that’s a horrible way to approach it. But if I had to pick a side right now, I go with Lance Stephenson. We don’t know the health of Granger until he actually gets out there and starts playing. But I do think you have to ease him in just like last season, therefore, Stephenson is the starter, and you have that lineup work together to move forward.

You could go the route that Granger should be starting since he’s never lost the job because of his performance. And can you imagine adding even what Granger is now to that starting line up? Every starter would be a scoring option, so teams would be hard pressed on who to really defend. That’s always a good problem to have, but of course Granger would have to fit into that starting lineup. That would be interesting to see how he meshes with that as you would probably put Paul George at the 2 position, and Granger back in his natural 3.

Stephenson goes to the bench, and becomes one of the primary options on offense for them. He’s a guy that can take the ball from one end of the floor to the other. He still needs to work on hitting more jumpers, but hopefully that will be something he works on this summer. I think he would give plenty of energy to that bench unit as he did for the starters, so that would be a plus.

Either direction you go with Granger or Stephenson on the bench, I believe the bench already looks better than last season as you have a real offensive and defensive player. Lance Stephenson did step up at times to defend Lebron James last year in the playoffs, so that tells you that he can play solid defense when need be. I think Granger brings a defensive touch to his game that people don’t always give credit for. Two playoffs ago, he looked to be one of the best guys out there, and he had to defend Lebron James for most of that series two seasons ago.

In a way, it’s a good problem to have, but you hate telling one guy or the other they have to move back to the bench. That’s just the way it will go with this team, and like Coach Vogel has said, he likes that bench players are essentially the next starters. So Stephenson or Granger can have that type of attitude, and go out and show that they could be a starter for the team.

Tags: Danny Granger Indiana Pacers Lance Stephenson

  • metalhead65

    it will be a good problem to have especially if Granger is any where close to the player he was before the surgery. I think they should start off with Granger coming off the bench at least initially. I read where he said he would have no problem with it and I think it would be to his and the teams benefit to start of with that. he will not face the pressure of starting and producing right away and they keep the chemistry going they had this past season. if he has recovered well enough to do the job and Stephenson falters then they can switch them around. if things go good then you have a serious threat coming off the bench in Granger which was the weak spot last year.

    • Stephen Ajamie

      Excellent point. Just like last season, Granger starting off slow is probably the best way to go about it. I understand if you work through training camp, and maybe Granger just shows up ready to go, you could put Granger right back there in the starting role. I think Paul George at the 2 position could present problems for defenders on him with his length and ability.

      But, I fully believe Granger would be open to help out whatever way he can with this Pacers team because he has to understand what a great team they can be by sticking to what’s been working with the five starters.

      • metalhead65

        and in the unlikely event Granger is unhappy with his role if he shows he can still play do you see them getting more than they could right now they if they trade him?

        • Stephen Ajamie

          I don’t think you could trade right now because how is a team going to know what they’re getting out of him? It would probably have to be sometime during the season if he’s able to get out there and play.

          I’ve heard rumblings that Larry Bird does have a move in mind to make as I listened to him talk on 1070 the Fan a week or so ago. I would imagine that involves Gerald Green, or that’s just my hope ha. But I think for now, the Pacers are done, and we’ll see what we get going come preseason and regular season.