INDIANAPOLIS, IN - APRIL 16: George Hill #3 of the Indiana Pacers shoots the ball during the NBA game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on April 16, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
According to reports from practice, Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel made a rare declarative statement, confirming that George Hill will remain the team's starting point guard even when Darren Collison returns from the strained groin injury that has kept him sidelined for six of the past seven games.
Coach Vogel announced today that George Hill will remain the starter at point guard. Darren Collison will come off the bench when healthy.
Hill has been wonderful in that starting role as the team has rattled of seven wins, albeit against non-playoff teams save for Philadelphia. In his seven starts, Hill is averaging 15.4 points and 5.4 assists with a 6.3 assist-to-turnover ratio.
With the Pacers using a nine-to-ten man rotation, I've been an advocate of keeping Hill coming off the bench to bolster that second unit but still be available to close out games with the first unit. But when you combine his stellar play with the fact that D.C. may not get fully healthy, let alone get his game up to speed to match the rhythm that the first unit is currently playing at, this decision is a no-brainer.
Hill was also on the Dan Dakich Show this afternoon talking with fill-in host Greg Rakestraw about the Pacers strong play of late. They also discussed his night off which will include throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at the Indianapolis Indians game on tonight. Never lacking for confidence, Hill said he planned to throw a 98 mile per hour, four-seam fastball.
The best part about this situation is that G3 literally earned the nod with solid play at both ends of the court while taking care of the ball and still making plays. Hill was also smart not to sign any contract offers before the season because he has also earned himself a few more bucks of late.