Following George Hill’s debut against the Warriors, here is a look into how he could fit into the Sixers rotation moving forward.
The wait is over as George Hill returned to the court last night after a 12-weeks absence spent recovering from a right thumb injury. The 85-day layoff may have been longer than expected, but the Sixers added another member to their arsenal who is back in plenty of time for the playoff push.
It may not have been a big day on the stat sheet, as George Hill added 2 points, two assists, and two rebounds in his 18 minutes of play. He also was the victim to Steph Curry’s 49-point performance as he spent a good portion of his time on the court matched up with the superstar.
What Sixers Have to Look Forward To
The debut of the veteran point guard flashed a lot more to be excited about than his box score numbers may indicate. His 1-5 shooting and -13 +/- rating may not be ideal, but Hill added a lot on the defensive end, and he showed to be ready to fill a necessary hole in the Sixers roster. Throwing him in on a night without Tobias Harris and Ben Simmons is a tough scenario, and the offense was not functioning up to its potential due to the forced rotational changes.
It is also important to note that no one in the universe can guard Steph Curry when he is as hot as he was last night, and Doc Rivers told reporters that Hill wanted to take on the matchup.
Matisse Thybulle spoke about how much George Hill has already brought to the team off the court. Hill himself spoke about how he has grown into the role of mentoring the younger players, which adds to the selection of solid vets around the Sixers’ youthful nucleus.
His veteran presence has already clearly made his impact in the locker room and around the organization despite his short time here. Tyrese Maxey, who had an impressive 10-point performance last night, talked last week about how much he has learned from Hill already.
Hill’s On-Court Role
Due to the injuries heading into last night, the Sixers were unable to get a better idea of what Hill will look like among the regular rotation. However, Doc Rivers gave a peek into his potential role moving forward in his postgame presser as he spoke about the idea of implementing George Hill into a four-guard lineup with the second unit.
Hill spent most of his minutes on the court alongside Shake Milton, Tyrese Maxey, Matisse Thybulle, and Dwight Howard in the previous game. The sample size is extremely small on this, but Doc also referenced the run that the unit sparked.
The 127 games of playoff experience also provide hope for Hill to be a part of some closing lineups. His career 38.4% three-point shooting percentage and extra ball-handling ability could be an interesting addition to a lineup of Shake Milton, Danny Green, Seth Curry, and one of the Sixers’ three-stars. This ability to go smaller is another potential move in the back pocket of Doc Rivers, depending on the matchups they face.
There is a lot to be determined on how George Hill fits into the Sixers rotation, but it is exciting to see the type of win-now player he may prove to be. Hill has been tied to the Sixers for a while and seems excited to be on the team finally. As he put it after the game, “I like the style. I like the opportunity. Just gotta take advantage of it.” The numbers are sure to go up for George Hill, but his early impact is still exciting.