After getting inconsistent minutes from former Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni these past two seasons, Jordan Hill now has the opportunity to play consistent starter minutes under Byron Scott.
For most of the summer, it was assumed Hill would not return to the Lakers because of the different style of play. In an interview with Los Angeles Daily News’ Mark Medina, Hill says he would not have returned if D’Antoni was still coaching:
“If Mike was here, I wouldn’t be back,” Hill said. “That’s the way it was. No disrespect to Mike, but apparently I didn’t fit his system. Why would I come back?”
While Hill has struggled this preseason, Scott is relying on him and he now has a lot of confidence to play his game:
“Last year, I was thinking too much about playing,” Hill said. “If I messed up, I wondered if I would see the floor again. Right now, Byron is relying on me and I’m one of his guys. That really builds more confidence in me to come out this year and play my game.”
Heading into this season, Hill has made one major change by no longer drinking alcohol. As a result of the new lifestyle change, the Lakers center has dropped 13 pounds and came into training camp in much better shape.
With the Lakers starting lineup being a little older, Hill will be counted on to provide energy on both ends of the court. In his last five preseason games, Hill has averaged 9.4 points and 7.6 rebounds in 24.2 minutes.[divide]
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