Two hours prior to tip at the Fieldhouse on Monday, Solomon Hill turned in an impressive effort.
Solo and Glenn Robinson III were going at it in controlled 2-man game scenarios against Myles Turner and Joe Young. Solo was making the rook work in what looked like a fast-track effort to get Turner back into game shape. While Dan Burke was running the players through their work, Solo was also coaching up Turner, reminding him of his assignments and reads for each scenario.
Solo was playing the role of the ultimate teammate who knows everyone's role and is willing to help even when Turner returning to action will further bury Solo in the playing rotation.
Here's a clip of one play which I started taking after seeing The Third fly through for an absurd dunk on the first play I watched.
So after witnessing this impressive display by Solo, we were all treated to an even more impressive effort from Solo in the fourth quarter when he scored eight points and gave the Pacers a needed boost to hold off the Hawks for a win. C.J. Miles was a scratch with a sore lower back so Vogel turned to Solo to fill the spread lineup power forward spot, and Solo was ready to answer the bell.
Hoops karma at its finest, as Ian Mahinmi articulated after the game.
"He's been eager to play," Mahinmi said of Solo. "He practices hard every day. He's one of the guys that is all-out energy at practice, before the game, after the game, before practice. To see him rewarded like that tonight and see him make all the right plays, I'm so happy for him, but it doesn't surprise me."
On a night when Paul George continued to struggle and second-leading scorer C.J. Miles was out, the Pacers used their depth to post a big win over the Hawks which pushed the Blue and Gold into a three-way tie for third place. The Pacers have an advantge in that 3-way thanks to a 13-4 conference record which is the best in the East.
Finding different guys to step up and halt a losing streak or deliver for a big win has kept the Pacers rolling among the top teams in the conference even when they aren't firing on all cylinders.
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