George Hill to Start at Point Guard for Remainder of the Season

George Hill has been playing solid starting at point guard since he has filled in for Darren Collison, who has been out with a groin injury.

Due to his strong performance this past week, Hill has been named starter for the remainder of the season even when Collison returns, according to the Pacers:

Coach Vogel announced today that George Hill will remain the starter at point guard. Darren Collison will come off the bench when healthy.

Vogel was also quoted saying during the press conference that both DC and Hill are “top ten point guards,” and that it’s “a good problem to have.” Both players are capable of being a starter on several NBA teams.

I don’t blame Indy for making the move. I think it was the right one, when you consider seeing how Hill has been doing.

Overall, since he has filled in for the starting role, the Pacers haven’t lost a game, going 7-0 as they look to lock up the third seed. They currently have a 42-22 record after outlasting the Milwaukee Bucks, where Hill scored a season-high 22 points.

Hill has also been averaging 15.4 points, 5.4 assists, and 3.9 rebounds per game along with 46% shooting from the field.

With the decision, DC will now be coming off the bench. Here at Eight Points Nine Seconds, we’ve discussed the situation before of Hill possibly starting for team. Many folks in the comments said to stick with DC, but judging by the recent play, some may just change their minds.

I think with Collison on the bench, the B team can be a little more smooth since DC and Tyler Hansbrough mesh together more than he does with Hill. Both have also done better with pick-and-rolls.

Tags: Point Guard Debate

  •!/Msquared122 NexSerenade (Mike)

    Remember this?

    Hopefully that won’t become an issue again.

    Hill was confident coming off the bench, and DC was having a very good run as the starter for a while. They have both had rough patches, both had high points, and Hill is on his high point. That said, it’s not as big of a deal as people make it to be. The real issue is how much will this effect his minutes, along with who DC is going to be playing alongside.

    I’ve noticed over the last few games that Hill is getting a bit more playing with the Bench than he was at the beginning of his Starting-streak, maybe it’s a sign Coach Vogel is seeing how well Hill could transition from playing some of his minutes with both the Starters and the Bench. Maybe not.

    Personally, I think as long as their minutes stay the same as the were pre-DC injury and both guys get split time between the Starters and the Bench (which will take care of itself as Coach Vogel shortens the rotation for the play-offs) then there won’t be an issue. Both of these guys have great skills and have the added bonus of having their respective heads screwed on right.

    If the play-offs started today, I’m guessing he’d be more than good enough to play. The main issue is getting back into the rhythm of the game. So the Pacers lock up the third spot with two games remaining. Bring in DC as the back-up, but play around with the minutes and line-ups a bit, then in the final game give him the lion’s share of the minutes to get him heading back to where he needs to be and let him work out the kinks against the emaciated Magic in preparation for the real test against either Miami or Chicago in the second round. (I don’t know about everyone else, but I’m starting to think the Heat will steal that top seed from the Bulls, which would bode well for our chances since we match up better against the Bulls, especially with a dinged up Rose. Maybe even the Knicks could bounce the Bulls in the first round, in that case the Pacers would face the winner of the Atlanta-Boston match-up in the second round, which is still favorable to a Miami match-up.)

  • Joe B

    And circle gets the square. I’ve been hoping this would happen–DC and Barbosa will bring a lot of speed off the bench, and Hill’s experience and tenacity work a bit better with the starting unit.

  • Zach Winningham

    This was such a easy decision I can’t believe an announcement even needed to be made. DC will be great off the bench w Barbosa/Hansbrough. Getting excited about the playoffs for the first time in a long time!!

  • NZ Buc

    I think this is the right move given how well hill has played. He looked pretty bad running a team with the 2nd unit to begin the season, so even given his improvement since then (part of which could be attributed to playing and practicing together) he seems to play on a much higher level when he’s surrounded by more talented players. Could simply be a fact of Hill being more comfortable being lower on the totem pole in comparison to his teammates on the court (personally I much prefer being the 3rd or 4th best player on a team than the best, as I’m not the most skilled, but have a pretty good understanding of how to help a team win).

    The pacers will give up some d off the bench as neither dc or barbosa are particularly tall, but their speed should help negate some of this by creating more opportunities, and the G2 zone defense in the starting unit should also counteract this too.

  • Aaron

    Good on ya, Coach Vogel. I’m VERY excited to watch DC in that second unit and bring some life to them. PnR basketball with Hands-Bro or kicking it out to Barbosa beyond the arc.

    Any whispers of resting the starters? playing them maybe 12-15 minutes in the first half and 10 in the second? I know it’s always a tricky situation, but I think Granger and especially West could benefit from some seat time over the next couple games.

  • Sam

    Spurs fan here, I think this is a great move. George hill did the same thing in San Antonio when Parker got hurt, continuing to start even when he came back. I repeat, he started over a healthy Tony Parker!!! He plays well in the starting role. Best of luck in the playoffs, make good use of that first round bye against orlando. FYI, all of us spurs fans are hoping to steal roy hibbert from you after the season is over. Thought I’d give you a heads up.

  • NoLookPass

    Wow what amazing terrible bench usage by Frank in the first quarter tonight! Hansbrough touches the ball one time inside the 3 point line in 5:05 and it was a 18 foot jumper with .7 seconds left that gets swiped on the way up for a block and fast break the other way.

  • dwain

    @Sam heya man, looking forward to meeting u guys in the finals :) Hill had his brace back on late in the game, hope that isn’t a bad sign. he was shaking his hand like it had gone numb…two hurt PG’s could be trouble for the Pacers

    @NoLook while this was good practice for the playoffs…it sure didn’t go very well, having the captain as a no show was bad news for the team and it seemed to drift down to the bench..stellar game from West and Tyler did ok over all but there are some serious issues going on still. Roy has got to quit pulling that ball all the way to his knees before he goes up for a shot (putback), there is no way that shot needed to come below his head…a 3 point play there could have won the game…as with all those missed free throws…every one of those misses is a stab in the back in the playoffs

  • dwain

    @Sam oh yeah forgot…no way we letting Hoya2aPacer go in the off season, he is blue an gold through and through

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