So much amazing is happening, and the Shootaround crew is here to help you keep track of it all. You'll find takes on moments you might've missed from the previous night, along with ones you will remember forever.
Pray 4 Lance
(All GIFs by @HeyBelinda)
netw3rk: Look at this lady in the front row, catching that holy ghost from Born Ready Lance Stephenson. This is what playoff basketball does to people. It causes folks with the means to drop five figures on front-row seats to react to corner 3s like their dog is being rescued from a well. It forces arena staff to have to come out onto the court and haul middle-aged white ladies to their feet as the aforementioned ladies jabber in the gibberish tongues of the ancient saints. Lance caught the ball in the corner with two seconds left and rainbowed it like he was trying to get a kite out of a tree, right in the face of a hard Dwyane Wade closeout. Cue the church organ.
There’s reckless abandon, and then there’s Lance Stephenson pulling down a rebound and fast-breaking like he’s running from an avalanche. Dude is just as likely to throw the ball into the stands after trying a 100 mph spin move on three defenders as he is to make a layup. But the Pacers played the sixth-slowest pace this season and desperately need a guy who can handle the ball while running like his child is about to crawl into an intersection. During last season's playoffs, Lance’s major contribution to the cause was his LeBron-targeted autoasphyxia mimicry. This year, in Pacers playoff wins Lance is averaging 12 points on 51 percent shooting from the floor, and 6.8 points on 25 percent shooting in losses. X factor, agent of chaos, loose cannon, whatever you want to call him; when Lance plays well, the Pacers win. Looks like all that time spent under the tawny wing of Larry Hoosier Legend learning how to be ready is paying off.
Plus he’s flopping now, too, so you know he’s thinking strategically.