Indianapolis, IN - The Indiana Pacers are without a doubt one of the best teams in the NBA this year. They have started the season off at 10-1 following last night’s big win over the New York Knicks, but during that game there was something that stuck out as far as a potential hole in their armor. While George Hill was able to put up 23 points in the win, he was unable to make plays down the stretch that teams would like to see out of their point guards.
There is no doubt that George Hill is a more than capable scorer and the Pacers absolutely love that side of his game. All that is nice, but when you’re the point guard for the team, your job is to distribute and get the offense going. Hill had quite a few possessions where he would dribble the basketball for at least 10 seconds, and that wound up bogging down the offense and forced the Pacers to take quite a few contested jump shots.
Hill is averaging just 3.6 assists per game this year, but he’s also averaging 1.4 turnovers. I’m not going to say that the 3.6 assist number is a bad one, but it’s certainly not what the Pacers need from their point guard with David West, Paul George, Lance Stephenson, and Roy Hibbert all needing looks.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that the Pacers should be looking to part ways with George Hill, but I think they should begin looking into acquiring a true point guard. With George Hill’s scoring ability, he could be a huge piece off the bench as the sixth man for this Pacers team. Their bench has certainly improved, but the scoring aspect of the bench hasn’t necessarily seen a huge lift. If they could acquire a pass-first, true point guard to run the team and bring George Hill off the bench, they would be much more dangerous.
Obviously, it’s not easy to swing a deal in the NBA, especially since the Pacers have already dealt their 2013 first round draft pick. Jameer Nelson is one name that would be a perfect fit in Indiana, but the Magic are said to be looking for a first round pick in return to acquire him. One player that I could see the Pacers having a chance at acquiring, would be J.J. Barea of the Minnesota Timberwolves. They are said to be looking for pieces that will help them compete for a championship right now, and the Pacers could potentially package Danny Granger along with another piece or two to Minnesota and the Wolves may even be willing to throw Derrick Williams into the mix depending on what Indiana added beside Granger. That is just speculation, so don’t think that anything is in the works.
All that being said, the Pacers are still going to be able to win basketball games with George Hill running the point. He is able to make plays for his teammates from time to time, but I just feel that the Pacers would be much better offensively with a true, pass-first point guard in the starting lineup. Is something likely to happen? Not likely, but if they did make a move for Jameer Nelson or J.J. Barea, I think they would be a much more dangerous championship contender.
Evan Massey is the Lead Editor for Pro Sports Extra. Follow Evan on Twitter at @Massey_Evan.