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Jordan Hill says improved outside shooting won’t change the rest of his game

Aug 22, 2013, 12:37 AM EDT

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Jordan Hill provided a nice spark off the bench for the Lakers in the early part of last season, before suffering a torn labrum in his hip that sidelined him for 53 games. He was an energy player for a team that didn’t have many of them, and his hustle on the defensive end of the floor along with his rebounding earned him a fairly consistent 15.8 minutes per game.

Following advice from Mike D’Antoni and Kobe Bryant, Hill has been spending his summer working on his outside shooting, to the point where he believes he’s a good shooter now. While the offensive impact should help him get into his coach’s good graces if he can fill the role of a stretch four that D’Antoni’s offense treasures, Hill is saying all the right things in terms of not letting his offense get in the way of doing the things that got him those minutes last season.

From Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News:

How does Hill prevent his increased outside shooting from diluting the qualities that earned him such a prominent role on the Lakers’ bench in the first place?

“I’m still going to do what I’m going to do,” said Hill, who averaged a career-high 6.7 points and career-high 5.7 rebounds in 15.8 minutes last season through 29 regular-season games. “Provide energy, play defense, rebound. That’s my game. That’s not going to change. I just want to be able to have more options and have something that the team can rely on. It’s all about just trying to expand my game.”

“The thing with me this year is I’m not going to want to worry about scoring,” Hill said. “I’m going to let [Pau Gasol] and [Chris Kaman] take care of that. I’ll make sure I’ll do everything on defense, the little things, anything to make this team better.”

It’s a fine line, obviously, because two-way players are more valuable to teams if there’s consistency at both ends. But Hill is going to be most productive in the paint or close to the basket, even offensively, and it would seem that despite the improved but untested outside shooting, Hill’s defense is going to be needed a lot more than will his offense.

At least at this stage of the offseason, Hill seems to realize it.

  1. badintent - Aug 22, 2013 at 1:08 AM

    Birdman 2.0

  2. trollaikman8 - Aug 22, 2013 at 1:34 AM

    The Lakers are very lucky to have this guy.

  3. gdub520 - Aug 22, 2013 at 1:47 AM

    just hope he continues to develop and earn more playing time. its a bad thing usually when big men decide to shoot further away from the basket

  4. 00maltliquor - Aug 22, 2013 at 1:51 AM

    My favorite Laker not named Bryant!

  5. 00maltliquor - Aug 22, 2013 at 1:54 AM

    If he only gets 15 or even just 24 min. a game this season I’m gonna rip out my hair and jump out a window! He’s too good to be kept on the bench too long with this current Laker team.

    • moseskkim - Aug 22, 2013 at 3:12 AM

      I think being good is correlated with the ability to stay on the floor. hill has been injured for a bulk of his time as a laker so theres a reason why he gets so little minutes. how can u be good if u aren’t healthy enough to play?

      • 00maltliquor - Aug 22, 2013 at 3:35 AM

        He got hurt one time. When he 1st got here Coach Brown wouldn’t play him until he stumbled upon him at the end stretch of the season. Then he played the first 29 games last year and STILL only managed to get 15 min. a night when he was one of the only guys (besides MWP) to hustle and bring energy and gobble up reb. like the Cookie Monster gobbles up cookies, all while putting up a +18-19 PER.

        Both Mikes failed to see what they had. And it better not happen again.

      • muhangis - Aug 22, 2013 at 9:18 AM

        Shows you are short-sighted and know actual little about the game of basketball. There is a somewhat correlation no question, but it’s far, far from absolute!

        All I can tell you.

      • eventhorizon04 - Aug 22, 2013 at 9:41 AM

        D’Antoni values floor spacing.

        Jordan Hill didn’t have a good jump shot last year, which meant that putting Hill at power forward would kill the Lakers’ floor spacing by having two front-court bigs with limited range.
        That meant from D’Antoni’s perspective, Hill could only be used as a center. However, Dwight Howard started most of the season and averaged 33 minutes or so per game. That leaves just 15 minutes of backup center for Hill, which is what he got.

        As Brett writes, perhaps Hill developing some range might led to D’Antoni trying him out at PF more. That’s his path to more minutes.

    • spthegr8 - Aug 22, 2013 at 11:29 AM

      @malt
      Your dead on Bruh. He needs too be on the floor more. A lot of what he does doesn’t show up on the stat sheet but important none the less!! Give the man some burn Coach D!!!!

      • khadeemw - Aug 25, 2013 at 3:34 PM

        He will get playing time. D’Antoni is a Jordan Hill fan.

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