Fifteen games into the 2014-15 NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers are 3-12 as they host the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight at Staples Center. While the team has struggled, Jordan Hill has been one of the few bright spots as he is averaging 13.7 points and 9.8 rebounds on 47.9 percent shooting.
During the off-season, the return of Jordan Hill came as a surprise after being in and out of the rotation for Mike D’Antoni last season. With Pau Gasol headed to the Chicago Bulls, Hill was re-signed to a two-year, $18 million contract with a team option.
Unlike last season, Hill is playing consistent minutes and averaging the most of his career (31.3). After fifteen games, the Lakers center talked about the difference playing for D’Antoni and his current coach, Byron Scott via Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times:
“D’Antoni wanted me to stand down there, just try to clean up and do the dirty work. I was already struggling for minutes with him so I couldn’t do nothing but listen to him,” Hill said. “Now I’ve got Byron Scott, who trusts me, and I can play my all-around game.”
Despite playing well last season when given the opportunity, Hill was often sitting at the end of the bench for D’Antoni down the stretch as he wasn’t deemed a fit for the offense. While Hill has taken more jump shots than anticipated, he is averaging 4.3 offensive rebounds which leads the NBA.
With the loss of Julius Randle for the season and Ryan Kelly likely not returning until 2015 with hamstring issues, Hill will continue to play major minutes for the Lakers. While many questioned his new contract before the start of the season, Hill has been very consistent on the boards and will continue working on his jump shot.[divide]
Lakers Head Coach Byron Scott On Kobe’s Health, Jordan Hill’s Jumper