From New York legend to NBA bench warmer to rising NBA star, the Indiana Pacers’ Lance Stephenson has quickly made a name for himself over the past two seasons. This season especially, Stephenson has played like an NBA veteran, instead of a guy only in his second full season. He’s officially joined the triple-double club this year, so his next goal should be to become only the second guard to enter the 20-20 club.
According to basketball-reference.com, since the 1985-1986 season 244 players have recorded at least one triple-double — minimum of 10 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists — and Stephenson has recorded four just this season. Doing it once was impressive, but doing it four times in 47 games is almost mind-boggling since no one saw Stephenson becoming a complete player this quickly.
So what could be more impressive than recording four triple-doubles? Well a lot of things, like winning MVP, recording a quadruple-double or revealing himself as a shorter LeBron James clone. But becoming the second guard to enter the 20-20 club would also be an impressive accomplishment to add to his already incredible season.
Typically a player records a minimum of 20 points and 20 rebounds to enter the 20-20 club, but like a triple-double, it can be accomplished by just simply recording 20 and 20 in any of the normal statistical lines besides turnovers.
140 players have recorded a minimum of 20 point and 20 rebounds in a game since the 1985-1986 season, once again according to basketball-reference.com. Only one guard, Lafayette “Fat” Lever, belongs to this particular 20-20 group and accomplished the feat four times during his career.
Stephenson is more than capable of joining the group this season. He leads all guards with 7.3 rebounds per game, per NBA.com, and has had four games of 20-plus points and 10-plus rebounds this season. His closest game came against the Los Angeles Lakers last month when he recorded 15 points and 14 rebounds.
It’s not easy for one to complete what Stephenson has done when the squad plays team-first basketball, and you’re not the main guy. But watching Stephenson rack up triple-doubles, along with the Pacers racking up wins makes it even more fun to watch the team. Having Stephenson add the 20-20 club to his résumé would give everyone just another reason to keep an eye on this rising star.