May 26, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers point guard George Hill (3) drives to the basket against the Miami Heat in game three of the Eastern Conference finals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The Heat won 114-96. Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

George Hill: Step on the Pedal this Season

I found a great blog from Michael Grady of 1070 the Fan here in Indianapolis, and I couldn’t agree more with his thoughts on George Hill.  He talks up some of the burning questions for the Pacers as they enter training camp and gear up for the season. In the usual questioning for the Pacers, there’s the Danny Granger question and Paul George’s rise. But it was his thoughts on George Hill and his aggressiveness that I think should be talked up a bit more.

“Will George Hill be/stay aggressive?  We all know Hill is not a pure point guard.  He’s probably more comfortable being “set-up” as opposed to being a “set-up man”…but whether you agree or not, that’s not a problem.  Hill doesn’t need to be Chris Paul or John Stockton in this offense.  What Hill needs to do is be more aggressive when he’s the beneficiary of a kick-out pass from the post or a slashing teammate.  When Hill looks for his shot, the Pacers are tough to beat…when he’s passive (like Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals last May when he finished with one point and was 0-for-4 from the floor)…the Pacers are vulnerable.

When you’re playing with quality post players like Hibbert and West or capable slashers like George and Stephenson, you’re going to find yourself on the receiving end of a number of high quality looks.  Hill has to be aggressive and take them.  If he does that and is more committed on the defensive end he’ll make a big difference for Indiana this season.”

You have to look at Hill as that point guard of the Pacers now, I don’t care what he used to be.  For the past season, and some time the season before, he’s this team’s point guard.  What I like most about his game is that he’s got that look and feel of a point guard. You just see Hill out there leading guys, and talking to them at all times during the game.  He’s got that sense of where he wants to put a pass, but at the same time he can step on the pedal and create for himself.  Ever since, he took over the point guard position, this team has looked better.  I thought Darren Collison would have been the nice answer for who should be the point guard back two seasons ago, but once George Hill got that chance, there was no looking back.

That’s why this season, Hill needs to find that happy medium between aggressive and not so aggressive. I couldn’t find another way to put it, but the understanding of when to score for himself and when to find others.  There’s little doubt, Hill isn’t one of the first options to score, but he’s a guy that can score, so I hope that he’ll take more advantage of that this coming season.

We’ll worry about what he can do on the defensive side later, as that is a bit of weakness for him. But if he can improve his own decision making, this team improves along the way.  Hill is a guy that I know will do whatever he can to help this team win, and of course that’s the main goal. But I believe a more aggressive Hill could do wonders for the offense of this Pacers team.

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