Knicks Face The Revenge of Jordan Hill

Jordan Hill

Instead of complaining about having been stuck on the bench as a rookie on a horrible undersized team, Jordan Hill, the Knicks lottery draft pick, is taking advantage of the opportunity presented and allowing his play to do the talking.  Recently traded to the Houston Rockets by the Knicks, who are desperate for cap space, Jordan Hill finds himself playing significant minutes for a playoff contender after spending most of the season languishing on Mike D’Antoni’s bench.  Since he was traded to the Houston Rockets, who the Knicks play tonight, for a reconstruction project and some open cap space, Jordan Hill is averaging 15 minutes, 5.9 points and 4.9 rebounds. In his latest game against the Celtics he had 5 blocks to go along with 11 points and 7 rebounds in 27 minutes.

While there was some doubt that Jordan Hill could develop as needed this season on the Knicks, it was always clear that his performance was constantly improving and that the Knicks would have significantly benefited from his size and athleticism throughout the season.  The fact that he was not given much of an opportunity is a testimony to D’Antoni’s stubbornness and inability to figure out how to utilize any big man not Stoudemire.

Jordan Hill v. Brooke Lopez

Hill has taken his treatment in New York in stride and is happy to be in Houston, where they know what to do with big men. 

Hill told the Houston Chronicle “Coach D’Antoni, he relies on his veterans more than rookies. He feels like his rookies need to learn more their first year so they could get everything down pat. I understood. I just wanted to wait patiently until my time was coming. My chance was here [in Houston] and I’m making the best of it,” Hill said. “Fans there [in New York], they know what I can do. I just didn’t have the opportunity to show it.”

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WHAT ARE THEY SAYING ABOUT HILL IN HOUSTON?

“He gives us a dimension the other guys don’t. He’s athletic and plays above the rim. The biggest thing he needs to do is just play hard all of the time. He can’t relax. Every rebound has to be his. The effort plays have to be there for him. He’s only played two games – I’ll just wait a bit. He was drafted eighth in the draft. He has talent – you can see he has talent. He’s bigger than Carl, longer than Carl was. But he has to learn how to play like Carl did – play hard. But that’s not an easy thing for a young guy to understand. He started in college, played in college, and a lot of times he was better because he had more talent. In our league, you can’t go by that. Carl learned that – how hard he had to play to be effective. That’s going to be the key for Jordan.” – Coach Rick Adelman of the Rockets

 

Hill needs some refinement, but he ran the pick and roll well. He showed good speed and athleticism, was solid defensively at times and didn’t shy away from contact. One play in particular that stuck out to me was an attempt to block a Ben Gordon drive. However, what most impressed me about Hill was how active he was — specifically, how he ran the floor. Despite his size, the Arizona product never hung back after getting a board.– Clutch at Clutchfans

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