The Indiana Pacers are going to need someone to step up this season after losing Lance Stephenson in free agency to the Charlotte Hornets and Paul George due to a broken leg. One player that many are looking for to step up is point guard George Hill, who has major under performed over the last couple of seasons. He will be asked to score the ball at a much higher rate than he has, and that will fit his game much better than being a point guard.
Hill has been working out tirelessly this offseason to improve his game, and that is at least a small piece of good news for the Pacers’ fan base.
“It’s been hell,” Hill said candidly this month during a 15-minute conversation as kids at his basketball camp paused for lunch. “I’ve been kicked out of the gym a couple of times because I’ve been in there too much. Just staying in the gym, getting my body right to put on a little pounds, just getting my shot back right, working on ball handling, pick-and-rolls and things like that. Just trying to become a better player.”
Frank Vogel also made some comments about the work that Hill has been putting in this offseason.
“He’s doing it all,” said coach Frank Vogel. “He’s doing stuff in the morning with Yoga and some other stuff like that, and then he’s shooting for an hour and a half, and then he’s lifting. It’s a very, very extensive offseason routine, one that stacks up against any I’ve seen since I’ve been a coach. And usually when that happens, the guy comes out and has a great year.”
“The best summer that I’ve ever seen him had, in terms of work ethic,” Vogel said of Hill with a big grin. “He’s over the top right now with the hours that he’s putting in, the commitment, the movement shooting that he’s doing.
It will be very interesting to see what the Pacers end up receiving from Hill this season. They have been asking him to be aggressive offensively in the past, but have forced him to play the point guard position which simply doesn’t give him the best chance to succeed. This season will be much different and he will have to step up and be a much better scorer.
Hill ended up playing in and starting 76 regular season games with the Pacers last season, averaging 10.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game. Those numbers show that point guard is not the right position for Hill, but his scoring doesn’t show his true potential. If the Pacers give him the green light and enable him offensively, he will take that number up in a big way.
Overall, this is going to be a very interesting season to watch Hill as he looks to take his game to a new level. He is a great three-point shooter and is extremely underrated getting to the rim and finishing. Expect to see a much improved George Hill this season, and to see his numbers rocket up after this hard work that he has put in.