Because I went to high school and played soccer with the dude at Broad Ripple, I've always felt personally invested in George Hill's success. I was surprised the Spurs picked him in the first round, even though watching him essentially defeat Carmel single-handedly while a member of the Broad Ripple Rockets has always been a pretty fond memory. I was even more surprised when the Pacers picked him up this year.
When the season began, I kind of expected a break out year. He had always been stuck behind Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili while in San Antonio. I had him on some fantasy teams he probably had no business being on while he was the Spurs, but he produced when those guys were out with injuries.
Until the last several days, I've felt a little disappointed with his impact after the trade to the Pacers. Maybe because we run such a balanced roster (Danny Granger leads the team with an average of 33 minutes played per game, his lowest total since his rookie year), it's been fairly difficult to measure Hill's impact.
With two wins coming immediately following Hill's return to the lineup after a brief injury, combined with his great play in those games, I've begun to reassess his impact. I went back and looked at games played with Hill and without. In games he hasn't played, the Pacers are 6-9. That means with Hill, the team is a whopping 19-7. While some might argue that record has more to do with general depth than Hill's contributions specifically, let's give the dude some credit. He's been playing lights out, and the fact that he's somewhat under the radar bodes well for contract negotiations this summer. He always plays with defensive intensity, and always contributes to the offense in more ways than just scoring.
With a little more depth, with some more consistency from our bigs, and maybe with Eric Gordon this summer, this team has the potential to be downright scary.