May 20, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) and Indiana Pacers point guard Darren Collison (2) struggle for control of the ball in game four of the Eastern Conference semifinals of the 2012 NBA playoffs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Miami defeated Indiana 101-93 in game 4 of the eastern conference semifinals. Mandatory credit: Michael Hickey-US PRESSWIRE

Indiana Pacers: Point Guard Breakdown

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May 20, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers shooting guard George Hill (3) dribbles the ball along the baseline against the Miami Heat in game four of the Eastern Conference semifinals at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Miami defeated Indiana 101-93. Mandatory credit: Michael Hickey-US PRESSWIRE

This was a position that saw improvements, but still needs some work.  The addition of George Hill is the biggest improvement that the Pacers saw.  He brought some good experience to the bench, and would later become a starter.

As a starter, he looked to run the offense more smoothly than Darren Collison, who was the starter until the last month of the season.  Collison had made strides as well, but still needs work on the defensive side.  With his size, it’s harder for him to work against the bigger point guards.  He can definitely step up on the offensive end as was evident in the playoff series against the Magic, where I think he won the Pacers a couple of those games even if he didn’t have much stand out moments.

That’s probably the thing about the point guard position for the Pacers.  They don’t need something to always scoring, but more a play maker.  With Danny Granger a scoring threat, and Roy Hibbert in the post, a point guard that can give them the ball in the best position is what’s needed for this team.

Hill and Collison could both do that at times.  I think it fell short in the series against the Miami Heat.  With the side advantage that Roy Hibbert possessed, the guards needed to feed him the ball and let him work.  But I think he’s partly to blame that he wasn’t as aggressive as he could have been, and that will be discussed later this when breaking down the center position.

The other area to improve upon is the defensive side.  Both guys, Hill and Collison are smaller, so they can lock down on the smaller point guards.  But when a guy like Dwayne Wade is blowing by the point guards of the Pacers, that needs to be fixed.  Hill is a better defender than Collison, so he wasn’t too bad against Wade.  But Wade still torched the Pacers in that series after the game three loss.

The biggest thing this off season is to pay George Hill to stay and let him run the offense. I was on the fence about who should start, but now watching the games that Hill was the starter, the Pacers looked to be much better.  You can let Collison come off the bench and actually increase the tempo with his quickness. Then depending on game situations, let whoever is playing better close out the game.

I think both guys would be fine with that scenario as long as it’s working and the Pacers are winning.  I’m not sure if Hill will be back or if he’ll go somewhere else for more money.  I think he loves playing in the hometown, but if he gets a better offer somewhere else, who’s to say he won’t take that up and leave?

It’s an interesting position because it’s been a while since the Pacers have seemed this stable at point guard. When’s the last time you’ve felt good about a Pacers point guard?  Mark Jackson, maybe, which would have been late ’90’s and he was only here a year or two.  Vern Fleming of the early 90’s always seemed dependable.  But these two guys right now are working for the Pacers, and if we want to continue this transition into the Pacers team that fans, they both need to be here.

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Tags: Darren Collison George Hill

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