Best Hardship Pickup Of The Season? Look No Further Than Indiana

For most teams, it's been a bit of a crapshoot bringing in "hardship exception" players to fill the void of those out on health and safety protocols. But without a doubt, the best fit of these 10-day replacements has been Lance Stephenson in Indiana. And shouldn't we have known all along? 

Saturday night, "Showtime Lance" put on another show for the Pacer faithful, dishing and dancing his way to a career-high 14 assists while dropping 16 points, in helping lead the Pacers to a 125-113 win over Donovan Mitchell and the Utah Jazz. 

"I love playing here, man!" was how Stephenson summed it up after the game. Domantas Sabonis, the recipient of many of those assists, said "That's Lance, man. Showtime Lance!" 

It was Stephenson's first double-double in the NBA in nearly three years, and Lance was dancin' in this one, so much so that on this dime to Sabonis, he started his jig before the play was even over:

Wednesday, in his first game back in Indiana since 2018, Lance also had 'em dancing in the aisles, dropping a sizzling 20 points in the 1st quarter, on the way to a 30 point, 5 assist performance. 

Saturday, he added 4 steals and 6 rebounds to his 16 points and 14 dimes, while registering the team's top plus-minus, at +14.

He's played four games in this, his 3rd stint with the Pacers in his career, averaging 14.3 points, 6 assists, and 56% FG shooting. 

And now it's official, Stephenson has been signed for the rest of the season. 

Watch  all 14 of Lance's assists here: