Indiana Pacers Must Improve At Point Guard Before Trade Deadline

By Dylan Hughes
Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

The Indiana Pacers currently stand at an impressive 20-5. That is good enough for the best record in the East, however, they do have a glaring weakness at point guard that could hurt them in the long run. They’ve been getting the job done so far, but if there isn’t a change soon, they could be regretting it during their expected deep playoff run.

Backup point guard C.J. Watson has done a nice job coming off the bench for Indiana this season, but the real weakness is in the starting unit with George Hill. Larry Bird and the Pacers brought Hill in via trade with the San Antonio Spurs where he played shooting guard. Hill was brought in as a shooting guard to play point guard, and it obviously hasn’t been working out.

You can’t blame Hill, as he has played shooting guard his whole career and has had trouble adapting to the pass-first play style a point guard must play with. Hill isn’t a bad player and has done good things with Indiana, but seems to have his head full of the critics’ comments, has been trying to facilitate more, and is less aggressive on offense than his teammates want him to be. He really hasn’t done anything well for the Pacers this season, aside from a few games, so keeping him around seems useless. Bird’s recent comments, saying he is willing to make a trade to improve the team, has to scare Hill, as he is most likely foreshadowing a change at point guard.

Hill doesn’t have to be too worried yet, because for all we know, Bird is talking about Danny Granger. Granger is expected to return Friday night against the Houston Rockets, and if he isn’t producing off the bench for Indiana, Bird may dump him in his contract year and move Hill to play off the bench. Either way, the Pacers need to acquire a point guard who can do a much better job than Hill has.

Indiana is a very good team, and with a solid point guard, they could be a nightmare. By the time March roles around and the Pacers play the Miami Heat again, it could be a whole different ball game.

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