When the Los Angeles Lakers acquired Jordan Hill as a throw-in from the Houston Rockets in the Derek Fisher trade, I don’t believe any of the fans out there thought Hill would be an important piece to the team’s future. Once Hill got on the team, he rarely played and was looked at as just another lottery bust. A weird moment occurred on the last Sunday afternoon game of the regular season; Hill entered the game and made his presence felt in a big way.
Ever since that moment, Hill has been one of the very few productive Lakers bench players. He does all the dirty work and he can score without having plays ran for him. Pairing him with Dwight Howard or Pau Gasol really helps the team out in a lot of areas while making their jobs easier.
The main thing Hill brings to a team like the Lakers is energy. He brings a lot of energy to a team that needs it in a very big way. Since he has arrived, he has been the Lakers’ bright spot off the bench.
Over the offseason, Hill took less money from the Lakers in order to compete for a championship and also play with talented bigs. He is a role player who excelled with the Lakers and he is relatively a bargain compared to other power forwards in the league with his skills.
Having an athletic big that can play off the bench is a luxury in the NBA. Most teams have a big guy on their bench but he isn’t good, Hill is the opposite of that. His hustle plays and rebounding make him a fan favorite and also a very valuable piece for this Lakers team.
Since Mike D’Antoni has been the coach, Hill’s minutes have decreased greatly because of the system that is being implemented. It will be interesting to see what happens because Hill can play and has proven to be consistent.
Hill should be on the floor to ease the minutes of Gasol and Howard. We all know with the new offensive system in place and the age and injury history of both of the starting bigs that their minutes should be down until playoff time.
The Lakers are trying to spread the floor more so their offense can run smoother, but we all know that it takes defense to win at the end of the day. It would be unwise for the Lakers to shrink Hill’s minutes because the team needs to be as deep as possible and have as many consistent players as possible.
Having a young athletic power forward at $3.5 million dollars per year is a steal and the Lakers can’t afford to have that kind of talent just sitting on the bench. For a team that has a below average bench, the Lakers can’t afford to not play its best player off of it his regular minutes.