The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Sports

May 18, 2013

Pacers not talking about changes, Hill’s status

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Pacers head into Game 6 against the New York Knicks in unfamiliar territory.

Point guard George Hill is out with a concussion, NBA rules require him to pass a concussion test before he can play again. The Pacers have no idea whether that will come in time for tonight’s potential closeout game.

Officially, the team says Hill is day-to-day.

It’s a sensitive topic around Pacers headquarters, where coaches and players remain hopeful Hill will be back on the court but are preparing as if he won’t be around to help.

“Learning about it at the last minute was not ideal,” coach Frank Vogel said. “But as a coach you prepare for those scenarios all the time. If someone gets hurt in the first minute of the game, it’s the same thing, right?”

This is not the same thing, and that became evident late Friday afternoon when the NBA posted its concussion protocol on its own web site to clear up any potential discrepancies. Pacers spokesman David Benner instructed reporters to view the protocol because the team would not answer questions about it.

The policy states that any player diagnosed with a concussion must be held out of all activities until he is symptom-free at rest and they see no “appreciable” difference between the players’ baseline test conducted before the season and the test after the injury.

Then the player must prove he is symptom-free as the level of exertion increases. Team doctors can then determine whether the player passes, a decision that must be discussed with Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher, the NBA’s director of the concussion program.

The league has not established a timetable for how long players must sit out before returning because each injury is different. Sometimes, the recovery time is quick. Kobe Bryant, for instance, did not miss a game after breaking his nose and being diagnosed with a concussion in February 2012.

Vogel and the Pacers would not provide details of the symptoms Hill felt Thursday, citing federal privacy laws. Vogel did say he was informed of the injury following Thursday’s morning shootaround and found out via text message at 4 p.m. that Hill had been ruled out of the game.

Hill did not attend practice Friday, and Vogel said he had not spoken with his starting point guard before the session ended. Hill is expected to undergo at least one more concussion test before tip-off against the Knicks.

The Pacers haven’t ruled Hill out — and neither have the Knicks.

“With or without George (Hill), the pressure has got to stay the same,” Knicks coach Mike Woodson told reporters during a conference call. “We’re preparing as if he is going to play. But the pressure has got to come whether he (Hill) is out there or someone else is out there.”

The severity of the injury is unclear, too.

Hill was injured early in Game 4 when he ran into Knicks center Tyson Chandler. He got up and looked a little wobbly after the collision, but did not leave the game and finished with 26 points in an 83-72 win. That gave Indiana a commanding 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinals.

D.J. Augustin replaced Hill in the lineup Thursday, and the Pacers struggled. They finished with 19 turnovers and wound up losing 85-75, a victory that got the Knicks within 3-2 and sent the series back to Indy for Game 6. Augustin played nearly 39 minutes and scored 12 points with no assists.

When asked what he would do today if Hill couldn’t play, Vogel replied curtly, “No comment,” before explaining he didn’t want to give away his game plan, a comment that drew chuckles.

If Augustin doesn’t start, one possibility would be using All-Star Paul George at the spot. Vogel did that at times in Game 5, and George responded with a double-double — 23 points and 10 rebounds — and six assists.

“Honestly, I felt like having the ball in my hands put me in rhythm, and the shots started falling for me,” George said.

That’s something the Pacers certainly need. They’ve only closed out three playoff series at home since 2000: last year against Orlando; in 2000 against Milwaukee in the first round and against New York in the conference finals.

And they don’t want this chance to slip away regardless of who is healthy and who isn’t.

“Here is where we really want to end it,” George said. “If not, it will really be up for grabs.”

The Knicks understand, too.

They’ve spent most of the series trying to rally after losing Game 1 at home, and with time running short on the comebacks, Woodson knows this is no time to play games. His lineup changes helped New York stabilize its struggling offense in Game 5, which they led from wire-to-wire.

With or without Hill, New York must play the same way today at Indiana, where it is 0-4 this season, or it will be heading home for the summer instead of going home for a decisive seventh game.

“Again, we’ve got to validate what we did last night,” Woodson said. “That was a must-win. Our backs were against the wall. They still are. When we lost Game 1, we knew right then and there that the only way to get out of this series was to go get one at Indiana, and this is our last chance.”

1
Text Only
Sports
  • SPT - HB0424 - Frankton vs AHS - 048 Frankton hits early, often in win over Anderson Frankton pounded out 11 hits in handing Anderson its second softball loss in as many nights.

    April 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • SPT - HB0424 - Alex v MG 3 Argylls hold on to top Tigers Pitching and defense win games, especially in girls high school softball and it was on display here Wednesday evening as the Madison-Grant Lady Argylls picked up a 4-1 Central Indiana Conference win over the host Lady Tigers.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Indians come up short against Tigers in golf The Anderson Indians came up short against Yorktown 147-170 on Wednesday.

    April 23, 2014

  • Reggie photo for online notebook Colts notebook: Few doubts about Wayne in locker room If there are outside doubts about whether Reggie Wayne can return to form because of his age and the severity of his injury, few are shared inside the Indianapolis Colts' locker room.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0424 - Mathis armor Mathis' leadership paying off for Colts An authentic set of battle armor greeted visitors to Robert Mathis' locker Wednesday at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center. The black-and-gold helmet and chest plate look more at home in one of the "300" movies, but they are the proud possessions of the NFL's reigning sacks champion thanks to the generosity of Daniel Adongo and Bjoern Werner.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Mike Lopresti: Pacers finally respond to critics So maybe the Indiana Pacers don't like being called wussies. Is that all it took, an on-air jab from Charles Barkley? Some brash talk, apparently, from Atlanta Hawks guard and Indianapolis native son Jeff Teague? Or was it the stark reality that they were closing in on owning the notorious legacy of a team that melted in the bright lights, faster than frozen yogurt?

    April 23, 2014

  • Rick Bramwell: Morel season off to a slow start The expectations, brought on by a harsh winter, have turned into a wait-and-see situation for morel hunters. A cooler than normal spring has put the tasty little sponges on ice.

    April 23, 2014

  • Tigers nip Argylls in girls track meet ALEXANDRIA -- Kelsey Crisp had a trio of firsts and a second place finish and her Alexandria Tigers needed every one of those as they nipped Madison-Grant 61-60 in a girls dual track meet here Tuesday. Crisp won the 100, the 400 and the long jump and

    April 23, 2014

  • SPT - HB0423 - PHHS golf 1 PH displays depth, dismantles Delta Three of Pendleton Heights top five golfers sat out Tuesday’s match against Delta, and the Arabians barely missed a beat. Tyler Meyer and Chase Simpson fired low nine-hole scores of 36 to pace the Arabians to a 159-190 victory over the Eagles.

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - HB0423 - AU baseball - 117 Heberling lifts Ravens to crucial win Cole Heberling's 11th-inning hit landed in right field for an RBI-single Tuesday, and the Anderson University baseball team moved into sole possession of second place in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference with a 6-5 victory against Rose-Hulman.

    April 22, 2014 3 Photos