After scoring 17 points in the preseason opener, George Hill joked that he sold the real estate on the court where he used to set up after dishing the ball off to Lance Stephenson or Paul George last season. With a pair of slashing, play-makers on the wing, the Pacers offense turned the point guard into a fourth or fifth scoring option.
With PG sidelined this year, that offensive dynamic changes since George's offensive replacement will be a far different player. Whether C.J. Miles, Solomon Hill, Chris Copeland or Damjan Rudez, the small forward will most often be spotting up for perimeter shots. That puts an emphasis on the point guard to create more scoring opportunities within the offense which will naturally mean more plays involving the guards, as Frank Vogel explained following practice on Monday.
"Our wings this year are more spot-up-shooter-types as opposed to ball-handling-types as we saw with Lance and Paul, aside from Rodney obviously," Vogel said. "So I think when they're (Hill/Watson/Sloan) out there with those types of guys they have to be more assertive off the bounce. We have to put them in more pick n' rolls and more pin-down action. I think you're going to see that from all our point guards this year."
In the fist three games of preseason, some combination of GHill, C.J. Watson and Donald Sloan have paired up to score over 26 points with almost 8 assists per game. Hill himself scored 20 points three times last season, while Watson did it once. The Pacers won all four games but none of those past results in the win column are worth comparing to this year's team. The difference this year, is simply how the Pacers expect to utilize their point guard rotation with a different skill set on the wing.