Indiana Pacers point guard George Hill has endured a significant amount of criticism recently. In past years, he’s been Indiana’s worst starter and many have suggested that the Pacers couldn’t get over the top and make the NBA Finals was, in part, because they were weak at point guard.
But it sounds like Hill is doing all he can this offseason to make him the weak link no longer.
He recently spoke with Scott Agnes of Vigilant Sports about his offseason training.
“It’s been hell,” Hill said candidly this month during a 15-minute conversation as kids at his basketball camp paused for lunch. “I’ve been kicked out of the gym a couple of times because I’ve been in there too much. Just staying in the gym, getting my body right to put on a little pounds, just getting my shot back right, working on ball handling, pick-and-rolls and things like that. Just trying to become a better player.”
Pacers coach Frank Vogel also spoke highly of the work George is putting in this offseason.
“He’s doing it all,” said coach Frank Vogel. “He’s doing stuff in the morning with Yoga and some other stuff like that, and then he’s shooting for an hour and a half, and then he’s lifting. It’s a very, very extensive offseason routine, one that stacks up against any I’ve seen since I’ve been a coach. And usually when that happens, the guy comes out and has a great year.”
“The best summer that I’ve ever seen him had, in terms of work ethic,” Vogel said of Hill with a big grin. “He’s over the top right now with the hours that he’s putting in, the commitment, the movement shooting that he’s doing.
The Pacers have to hope that Hill’s training success translates to on-court success in 2014-15. With Lance Stephenson now on the Charlotte Hornets and Paul George presumably out for the season with a leg injury, Indiana’s going to need a big season from Hill to make another trip to the postseason.
Hill averaged 10.3 points and 3.5 assists per game last season.