George Hill — Indiana’s starting point guard who has given them 14 points a game these playoffs and is another long defender in their scheme — is out for the Pacers Thursday night in Game 5 against the Knicks due to a concussion, the team announced (via Mike Wells of the Indy Star).
Hill took an incidental elbow to the head from Tyson Chandler in the first quarter Game 4, but it didn’t seem that bad at the time and no foul was called. Hill played 30 minutes after that incident and hit 9-of-14 shots as the Pacers won went up 3-1 in the series.
D.J. Augustin will get the start for Indiana. Look for a little Lance Stevenson at the point as well, we’ll see if Born Ready is up for it.
This is a blow to the Pacers. Hill is a long defender that was giving Raymond Felton and the other Knicks guards issues — he helped keep them out of the lane and with that the Pacers defense was a wall. Augustin isn’t the same defender and if Felton is getting into the paint the Knicks are going to start getting better looks.
Then we’ll see if they can knock them down. But this is a potentially big development and a break for the Knicks.
As for Hill’s return, the league has a concussion policy in place and that means to be cleared to play he has to pass a series of tests after increasing physical exertion. The Pacers team doctor has to consult with a league neurologist before the player can be cleared.