George Hill is recovering from a hip pointer injury as well as a busted finger. The fallout has been him missing every Pacers’ preseason game so far. He is shooting to play in the team’s final exhibition match Friday in Chicago, however, according to Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star.
Nobody wants to be hurt, of course, but the other day, Hill tried to put the preseason setback in perspective.
“It’s a bummer because I want to be out there working with the rest of the guys,” Hill said. “But I’d rather miss these games than miss the games that count.”
Still, this time does count. And unfortunately, the team — which has also been without injured forward Danny Granger all preseason — is not getting the preseason work in. Before last season, the lockout compressed the preseason into virtual nonexistence, so now was to be the time when Frank Vogel was supposed to be able to instill and perfect his schemes and philosophy. Even though he has now been the coach for some 18 months, he has still never guided the team through a normal preseason. And while all teams deal with injuries before the real games start (and baby even nicks and bruises to ensure everyone is as healthy as possible once the outcomes matter, the fact that Indiana has been without two of its starters is not good.
Then again, Granger certainly should be well versed in what Vogel is trying to accomplish and Hill, who injured his hip banging with rookie Miles Plumlee in practice, is a heady young kid who has enjoyed some degree of postseason success every year of his short career. So there is also a case to be made that new Pacers DJ Augustin and Gerald Green may be getting more out of their extended opportunities to play with the starting big men and Paul George than the incumbents would.
Regardless, the team wants its actual starters back as soon as possible. Granger will make his preseason debut tomorrow night. Hill hopes for Friday, but we’ll see. This does bode well for him starting game one in Toronto on Halloween at least.