Lance Stephenson’s Los Angeles Lakers career couldn’t have gotten off to a better start.
In his first month with the Lakers (eight games), Stephenson averaged 10.8 points per game on 52.9 percent shooting from the field. He also shot 45 percent from behind the arc in his 19.2 minutes per game. He also averaged 4.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.1 steals per game.
Stephenson was the only player in the month of October to average at least 10 points on 50 percent shooting from the field and 40 percent shooting from behind the 3-point line in less than 20 minutes.
However, Stephenson’s production has taken a nose dive over the past few weeks.
In his last 10 games, the 28-year-old has averaged just 7 points per game while shooting less than 40 percent from the field. Defensively he’s not a big difference maker either.
But Stephenson said his numbers don’t matter to him as long as the Lakers are winning games.
“I don’t really look at it. I just play hard,” Stephenson said after the Lakers’ loss to the Magic on Sunday. “I don’t really look at percentages. As long as our guys are locked in and playing hard, and they’re confident in themselves, then we don’t really have to worry about percentages.
”When I’m on the bench watching my teammates I just try to see where I can come in and help on the defensive end,” Stephenson continued. “Just trying to make smart plays when I get in there.”
Stephenson, at his best, is still valuable as a spark plug off of the bench — and a fun one at that — but the Lakers haven’t seen his best consistently this season.
With his trade embargo set to be lifted on Dec. 15, Stephenson could be a name that the Lakers dangle in trade talks. Stephenson has a trade-friendly expiring contract worth $4.49 million.
For his sake and the team’s, let’s hope “Born Ready” shows a pulse over the next few weeks.
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