Pacers reportedly plan to keep Lance Stephenson for the rest of the season

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“It’s not even statistics. It is just another kind of energy that we really need. Lance gave us a different vibe as a team.

It was Pacers coach Rick Carlisle on Saturday night after Lance Stephenson came off the bench and scored 16 points with 14 career-high assists, leading the Pacers to a Jazz upheaval. In four games in Indiana, Stephenson is averaging 14.3 points on 70.4 percent of shots, distributing six assists per night.

The Pacers therefore seek to keep Stephenson for the rest of the season, reports Marc Stein.

The Pacers have their place on the list. They’re also just a few million below the luxury tax threshold and will no doubt want to stay south of that number, but Stephenson’s signing won’t put them in place. Major moves by the trade deadline would have a bigger impact on results than Stephenson’s signing.

Indiana needs Stephenson’s help. Projected as a locked-down play-in / play-in team before the season, the Pacers are 15-25 – and the league’s worst crisis team. The Pacers have a nearly even net score, they should be 20-20, but the team are 4-18 in games within five points in the final five minutes. The inability to close matches has cost them dearly.

Lance Stephenson won’t change all of that on his own, but he’s a boost.

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