Hill’s season debut
The starting point guard of the Indiana Pacers,George Hill who missed 28 games this year due to injury made his season debut yesterday and Indiana Pacers offense was flowing nicely under his command.
George Hill who came off the bench and played 21 minutes, scored team-high 15 points on 5 of 8 shooting on the floor. Hill also had 3 assists and 4 rebounds but his contribution was much higher than the stats show.
Hill’s playmaking led to easy buckets
The game was in balance before Hill made his entrance and Indiana had a hard-time scoring. There were lots of difficult shots taken by Miles, Solo. Hill and Stuckey with the shot clock running down. Hill who was expected to be rusty didn’t show any rust and ran the plays perfectly and put the ball into the hands of the shooters, cutters and the bigs justly. Hill was sitting in the last 5 minutes of the 4th quarter and Pelicans drew close at one point. Coach Vogel brought him back to seal the deal and Indiana did just that by beating the Pelicans 96 -84 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse to get a second win in row against a Western Conference opponent.
Indiana Pacers shot season best 50 % on the floor last game against Minnesota Timberwolves and they’ve hit the 50 % mark once again against the Pelicans. 6 players had double-digit scoring numbers against the Pelicans and the Pacers turned the ball over only 9 times in the game, 2 by George Hill.
Hibberts’s impact in the paint
With Hill running the point, Indiana won the second quarter 20 to 14 with Hibbert having 7 blocks in the 1st half and Indiana defense putting clamps on Davis and on his team-mates.
Anthony Davis had 21 points on 8 of 18 shooting on the floor with 9 rebounds but he was less effective than usual as West and Hibbert muscled him up in the paint.
Anthony Davis has the highest FG % at the rim in the Nba but Roy Hibbert allows the lowest fg % at the rim to his opponents:
Hibbert finished the game with 14 points, 4 rebounds and 7 blocks and he once again locked-up the paint, didn’t let the Pelicans drive to the basket and get easy buckets.
Jrue Holiday who was guarded by George Hill and Cj Watson most of the game had an ineffective game as well. He scoed 16 points with making 7 of his 21 field goal attempts.
Indiana defense didn’t give any hole to the cutters or Evans which led Holiday to create off-the dribble and force shots to get some points. As a result he had a very poor game.
With George Hill, Indiana’s offense will be better
Indiana Pacers players also validated George Hill’s contribution as CJ Miles said after tha game; "George coming back makes a big difference,he runs the offense and he gets guys where they need to be and putting them to their strengths."
Coach Vogel also seemed pleased in Hill’s return as he said: "He looked great out there," Vogel said. "He made a lot of heady offensive plays. He just played a great basketball game at both ends."
With Hill running the point Indiana Pacers would be much better offensively. Lance Stephenson is gone and Paul George is injured but still Hill can make a difference for this team. He runs the pick and rolls perfectly, he knows the spots of his team-mates, he knows the sets, he speeds up the tempo when needed and he is a good defender and a clutch player. The ball moved fastly and found the open man on many occasions when George Hill orchestrated the offense.
Playoff push for Indiana has officially begun with Hill being back to the line-up !