As a four year player at Arizona, Hill shot between 45-50% from the floor. He also hit 35% of his shots from behind the arc. For you Heat fans, that means he made a little over 1 out of 3 shots from downtown. He shot around 75% from the charity stripe, again for the Heat fans, that’s the line LeBron shoots from after he flops…oh sorry when you and the refs think he was fouled. According to scouting reports, he has a solid frame which makes him physical on defense but lacks the wing span of a shot blocker. He can play coast to coast basketball and isn’t terrible out at the wing especially when it comes to catch and shoot 3 pointers. He’s quicker than he looks, rarely taking more than a few steps to the rim once he slips past the perimeter defense but that can sometimes lead to turnovers. He’s got a nifty step back jumper that comes from good balance and a quick release that allows him to get quick separation from defenders. On defense he’s liable to get beat by quicker, more agile wings; although he should be able to hold his own against most. In the end, scouting reports have him as a skillfully sound, hardworking (he’ll fit in with the “Blue Collar” moniker) player but not that potent of a scorer which is something I and most likely many more Pacers were hoping to get out of the first round. Some of the scouts think that in time he could be a good replacement for Granger. Does this mean the Pacers are thinking about shopping Danny? Maybe? I don’t know.
After this pick I had hoped maybe the Pacers would make a move for Isaiah Canaan (G, Murray State) early in the second round and after he was taken, Peyton Siva (G, Louisville). As T.O. pointed out the other day, the Pacers really could use another potent point guard on the bench to spell George Hill. Unfortunately, this was the Pacers 2nd round pick.
With the 53rd pick, your Indiana Pacers selected Colton Iverson, a center from Colorado State. SERIOUSLY?????? Well let’s me Colt…wait a minute the Pacers have traded Iverson to Boston for cash. OK, well what does this mean? Does this mean the Pacers might be thinking of keeping Granger while trying to compile as much cash to keep West? Yes, Paul George is due for a raise and we have some already big contracts out to Roy and George Hill but I’d assumed we tried to save cash by shopping Granger. Maybe not? I really have no idea.
What I do know is that we didn’t get a potent guard like a lot of us had hoped. Even though some of the top prospects had already been taken, guys like Canaan, Hardaway Jr. (taken by the Knicks with the 24th pick), Siva, and several other talented guards were still available. ESPN’s Ford had Hill ranked 79th so was he in that much of danger as coming off the board before the 53rd pick? Apparently, the Pacers received several calls about him post drafts so maybe but did we really need another forward? Eh? Then again, as Bob Kravitz of the Indy Star said, “we want guys we’ve actually seen on TV.” Then again, we’ve seen them on TV for a reason. To play devil’' advocate with myself (I can smell the brain cells frying), I still couldn’t tell you where Fresno State is but Paul George has turned out alright.
Let’s look briefly at the guards on the bench. Stephenson, Augustin, Johnson, Young, and Ben Hansbrough are the guards on the bench. With the exception of Stephenson and Augustin, none of these guys really did much in the playoffs when they saw the floor (I don’t think Ben ever saw playing time). If my memory serves me correctly Orlando Johnson had some good games in the regular season but as we all saw all season long, when the bench came in leads shrank and deficits grew. Maybe the Pacers are thinking about shopping some of these guys later or maybe they are thinking about developing them. I don’t know about you all but I closed my eyes as many times when Sam Young entered the game as I do when the Cubs are trying to close out a close game (or anytime Carlos Marmol took the mound). Needless to say, I’m looking forward to what the Pacers upper echelon have to say following today’s (well yesterday’s at this point) draft.
On that note I think that’ll do it for me. It’s late and I’m already not going to want to get up to go to work in the morning (I rarely, scratch that, never do). I’m curious to see what the Pacers do this offseason and early on in the season. On one side note, Pacer assistant Brian Shaw was hired earlier this week to be the new head coach of the Denver Nuggets. There are lots of new head coaches in Denver now as Shaw joins the new Avalanche (NHL) head coach, the great Patrick Roy (for you non-hockey fans/non-Canadians it’s pronounced “waa” not “Roy” as in Roy Hibbert). Thanks for reading and have a great weekend.