The Indiana Pacers will receive a nice boost tonight as starting point guard George Hill returns from injury and will be inserted directly back into his role as the starter.
With his return, the Pacers will put their usual starting five on the floor for the 7:00 p.m. tip — Hill, Paul George, Lance Stephenson, David West and Roy Hibbert.
George Hill missed the previous two games after suffering a bruised shoulder in the game against the Milwaukee Bucks Thursday. He took a hard fall and exited the game; the injury initially looked worse than it turned out to be. Fans in Bankers Life Fieldhouse suddenly turned quiet once Hill smacked the floor.
In Hill’s absence, backup C.J. Watson assumed the starting duties, playing well on both ends of the floor. Watson scored 13 points in Sunday’s win over the Jazz.
Up to this point in the season, George Hill is averaging his usual double-figures in scoring at 10.9 points. He is also averaging 3.5 assists and 3.7 rebounds as the offense flows through the wings. Hill is also shooting 83% from the free throw line and 38% from beyond the three-point arc.
Most of Indiana’s offensive plays flow through the likes of Stephenson, West and Paul George. That allows Hill to act as a perimeter decoy and put more focus into his defensive efforts, using his length to disrupt passing lanes and get deflections.
With Hill back in the starting lineup tonight against the Golden State Warriors, Watson returns to backup point guard duties with the second unit.
I expect George Hill to show some rust, but maybe not much considering the injury happened to his left shoulder, which is his non-shooting shoulder. Indiana will gladly welcome Hill back into the lineup tonight, however, as they hope to slow down the Warriors’ backcourt of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.