With the news of Indiana Pacer star Danny Granger missing even more time, coach Frank Vogel is looking for players to step up. Lance Stephenson is doing just that these first two games. Throughout the preseason, it was said that Granger would start with Stephenson coming off the bench. Now with Stephenson playing so well, it could mean trouble for Granger.
Many fans were wondering what the Pacers were going to do with Granger as he missed all but five games last year with an injury. Last season, it was Stephenson who stepped up to the plate, averaging 8.8 points per game, 3.9 rebounds per game and 2.9 assists per game all while shooting 46 percent.
Yes, it is just two games into the regular season, but Stephenson has vastly improved in nearly every category. He is averaging 17.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game. His main concerns last season was his carelessness with the ball and shot selection. In two games, just three turnovers and shooting 62 percent from the floor. Again, just two games, but a huge improvement.
So, what does this all mean for Granger? The biggest concern to look at here for the Pacers is the payroll. Granger has a much higher salary than Stephenson, but the latter is a free agent at the end of this season. You would say that this would be the focal point of the Pacers this coming offseason.
Again, I may remind you that it is still very early in the season and the offseason is so far away. However, if Stephenson keeps up the strong play, look for Granger to not make it to the next offseason in a Pacers uniform.
Justin Logan is a Rant Sports writer for the Indiana Pacers. Like him on Facebook.