After Friday’s loss against the San Antonio Spurs on Nov. 1, much of the discussion centered on Mike D’Antoni’s decision to not play Jordan Hill until the fourth quarter. With Shawne Williams struggling as a starter, Hill has provided great energy for the Los Angeles Lakers through the first three games. In only 14.0 minutes per game, Hill has averaged 6.3 points and 6.3 rebounds while shooting nearly 70 percent from the field.
With Hill being much more productive than Williams and the Lakers losing two games in a row, D’Antoni hinted at practice that he will need to find minutes for Hill in the Lakers’ regular rotation via Lakers Nation:
“That would be the obvious,” D’Antoni said when asked if Hill deserved more minutes. “But if you talk to everybody else, they’ll say what about me? We have a lot of guys. That’s what happens. You have a lot of guys unhappy. I might have to get to the point where two of them are ticked off at me and eight of them love me.”
Since playing for D’Antoni in New York, Hill has found it difficult to be part of his rotation. It doesn’t come from his effort or lack of production, but simply because Hill isn’t a natural fit in the offense. With no guarantees that he will receive minutes moving forward, there seems to be some frustration from Hill and rightfully so:
“It’s not my decision how many minutes I get. I just want to go out there and produce when I’m out there with those minutes,” Hill said. “[D'Antoni] will do what he feels is best for how the game goes. Whenever he calls my name, I’ll continue to do what I do.”
While Hill may not fit Mike D’Antoni’s offense, his energy off the bench can shift the momentum of games and can be the difference between winning and losing. With Hill playing well, it will be important for D’Antoni to be flexible and find regular minutes in the rotation for him.
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