Lance Stephenson is impressed with the moves the Nets and Knicks have made this summer but said he still thinks his Pacers are the team best-suited to challenge the Heat in the East.

“I think we’re good” Stephenson said at a back to school event in Brooklyn Wednesday. “When I’m on the court and I know when my teammates are on the court we think we’re better than anybody.

“I think we’ve got a good chance to be the number one team [in the East]. We just have to work hard put it together and do what we need to do to make our team better this year.”

After spending his first two years mostly riding the bench for the Pacers last season Stephenson became one of the NBA’s breakout players. With All-Star Danny Granger spending virtually the whole season on the shelf with knee injuries Stephenson started 72 games during the regular season and all 19 of Indiana’s playoff games helping the Pacers push the Heat to seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals.

“I’ve learned a lot” the former Lincoln High star said. “I watched a lot of players ahead of me and it made me better. I’ve taken many things they’re doing and the reasons they are on the floor and tried to put it into my game and do it in my own style. By me sitting on the bench it made me learn the game more I got with coaches and it made me a better player.”

But after 8.8 points per game during the regular season and 9.4 points 7.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists during the playoffs Stephenson faces the possibility of heading back to the bench and to a sixth man role on the Pacers this season if Granger returns to full strength something he said he’s fine with.

“I’m good no matter what happens” Stephenson said. “If he starts or I start whatever helps the team win that’s what I’m down with.”

Assuming Granger is healthy and returns to the starting lineup Stephenson will help anchor what should be a vastly improved second unit for Indiana this season. After adding former Knick Chris Copeland former Net C.J. Watson and Luis Scola the Pacers appear to have the kind of depth to compliment their formidable starting five that they didn’t have a year ago but that didn’t stop them from vanquishing the Knicks in the Eastern Conference semis and giving Miami all they could handle in the conference finals.

“Oh man we’ve got a good unit this year. We got a lot of players that can help us and we picked up a lot of great players. I think this year is gonna be a good year and we’ll see how it begins.”