Feb 3, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson (1) takes a shot against Orlando Magic center Glen Davis (11) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana defeats Orlando 98-79. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Lance Stephenson Returns to Action

Feb 3, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson (1) brings the ball up court against the Orlando Magic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana defeats Orlando 98-79. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Lance Stephenson has been a vital part of the Indiana Pacers all season. The New York native has been a pleasant surprise after developing his game over 3+ seasons with the Pacers.

On February 4, Stephenson attacked the basket and drew a hard foul, taking an awkward fall and leaving a game versus the Atlanta Hawks. He did not return to the game and was questionable for Indiana’s matchup with the Portland Trail Blazers this past Friday, February 7.

Stephenson did, in fact, miss the game with Portland. Indiana went on to win, 118-113, without Lance Stephenson in the starting lineup. Nevertheless, as I wrote a few weeks back, the Pacers need Stephenson in the lineup to continue to be successful.

The 6-5 guard leads the league in triple-doubles and nearly got the nod for an All-Star spot.

The Indiana Pacers will gladly welcome his production back into the starting lineup tonight at Orlando against the Magic. His energy level is second to none and his desire to win rubs off on his teammates.

Lance Stephenson is currently averaging 14.1 points per game, second on the team, to go with 5.3 assists and 7.2 rebounds, according to Pacers.com. His rebounding numbers are some of the best among guards in the NBA.

Lance missed one other game this season due to injury. That came back on January 8 in Indiana’s first matchup with the Hawks in Atlanta, a game in which they lost.

Expect Stephenson to be on top of his game tonight against the Magic, a team that doesn’t have an answer for him because of his size and speed. His defense and quickness will give the Pacers a boost, as he should likely be matched up with Orlando’s rookie Victor Oladipo or veteran shooter Arron Afflalo.

The Indiana Pacers tip off against the Orlando Magic at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida.

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