George Hill sells old real estate, now building something new

Pacers coach Frank Vogel played just one starter in the second half of their opening preseason game of the season. That was by design.

“I wanted George to get out there and play a few minutes as the primary options,” he explained,” put him back in … IUPUI attack mode. And he did just that. He got into that. We’re going to need more scoring from him this year.”

George Hill had one of the best offseason coach has ever seen. There’s no denying that the Broad Ripple product was upset at his limited contributions last season and the negativity that came with it.

This past summer, he was turned away from the gym by team staff who had to force him to take a day off. Hill worked on his shot – off the bounce, at the rim, and from deep – intensified his conditioning and went through detailed film sessions with assistant Dan Burke.

Hill sported his IUPUI hat at media day last week.

The IUPUI Athletics Hall of Famer, asked to do more in the team’s first exhibition contest, went back to the good ol’ days. He locked in, attacked the paint, got to the line, and made the Minnesota Timberwolves pay from outside as he guided the team to a 103-90 win Tuesday night. With the exception of the game’s first few minutes, the Pacers were in full control and thus every healthy player played at least eight minutes.

Of course, Hill’s role last season was brought up, and how so many times Paul George and Lance Stephenson took the lead while Hill settled off in the corner to let them do his thing. Then, he could only hope the ball swings back his way. “Aggressive George” was missed, and the team typically shined when he came out of that corner to contribute.

When Hill, who’s beginning his fourth season with the franchise, was asked about his previous role, he provided the line of the night in the locker room postgame.

“I sold that real estate,” he said, drawing laughter from reporters. “It was a bad view, it didn’t make a lot of money so I kind of lost on it so I sold it.”

Hill, as instructed pre-game by Vogel, made a point to “be the scorer I’ve always been.”

“All the rest of the stuff will come full force once I just be myself,” Hill said. “All training camp long, I’ve just been trying to play hard, keep everybody involved but also trying to find a way that I can stayed involved in the offense.”

Hill, who said having the ball in his hands builds confidence, finished with a team-high 17 points (on 6-of-9 shooting), seven assists, six rebounds, and two steals in just over 20 minutes of work.

“George is a very versatile guy,” said David West. “We’re going to need him to be aggressive and assertive.”

Leading the team in scoring won’t be an every-night occurrence, but it’ll certainly happen more often than ever on this team. Hill and Stuckey very easily can switch roles playing either guard spot, but the defensive matchup may dictate that more often that not. Stuckey has three inches on Hill.

No longer can Hill sit aside in the corner and watch his teammates provide the offensive load. They need more of them, as they are without their top two creators and top scorer from last season.

“Whatever this team needs to win games,” Hill said, “that’s what I’m going to try to focus on and do.”

George Hill wore these special pink shoes in Tuesday’s game.

Pink Shoes and Athlete Unity

At Tuesday’s game, Hill stood out. He chose to wear a pink pair of shoes rather than his new G3 Monsters, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

“I have family members that have it,” he said. “I didn’t know the NBA don’t really do nothing for it; I wish we would’ve. Just showing everyone in the world that we don’t forget about them.”

On the side of his shoes, he wrote both “#GodisGood” and “#LeahStrong.” The latter is in honor of Devon Still, the Cincinnati Bengals player whose 4-year-old daughter is fighting stage-four pediatric cancer.

“I heard about it and it’s a great story in how she overcame it and so far is fighting through it,” Hill said. “Just giving him a shout-out, showing him athletes got to stick with athletes and we’re here for him.”

One Response to George Hill sells old real estate, now building something new
  1. George Hill Writes #LeahStrong On His Shoes
    October 9, 2014 | 11:00 am

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