Jordan Hill looked pretty nice last night, no? His offense, as usual, was versatile and pretty polished. We saw him make a variety of attempts, both off the dribble and spotting-up, that suggest he's been working diligently to fill his quiver of scoring weapons. (That's right--working diligently.) While he committed a few cardinal sins (leaving his feet, not keeping a rebound up high), Hill's play on the other end was generally active and determined in a game most other Knicks spent lollygagging. A lot of us hoped Hill's play last night would earn him more chances to spin in games to come, and we may get our wish. From Marc Berman of the NY Post:
Sources have indicated D'Antoni is leaning toward giving Hill a real look now. Hill has played mostly in garbage time this season.
"We got good minutes from Jordan, which is good," D'Antoni said. "We had guys who were trying and playing the right way. His energy, he was athletic. He played well. If he continues like that, he'll get some more time."
Al Harrington, still bothered by fluid in the back of his knee, shot just 3 of 9. Hill, the eighth pick in the draft, came in for Harrington late in the third quarter.
This is excellent news, but should come with a few disclaimers:
1. Hill is very talented and very bouncy, but is by no means a bona fide NBA big man yet. Any extended minutes will constitute a learning process, and we've got to be willing to put up with some rookie mistakes along with the positive contributions.
2. Remember that D'Antoni has, on more than on previous occasion, pledged to play Toney Douglas more often, but that's never stuck for more than a couple of games.
On that note, if Harrington is bothered by fluid in his knee, then the Knick guards must be suffering from fluid in their heads. Why not let Toney DWTDD alongside his fellow rookie? Hopefully, D'Antoni decides to stick with a good thing and grant Hill (if not Douglas) some meaningful burn. If that is the case, I think we can look forward to a few kinks, but mostly solid play from the 21 year-old.