The Herald Bulletin

Evening 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 - HB0419 - Muller final - 077 Arabians make history in Muller thriller Pendleton Heights beat Anderson 3-2 to become the Nick Muller Memorial Baseball Tournament's first repeat champion.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • 500 Festival Mini Marathon might not fill field

    With less than two weeks to go, the 38th 500 Festival Mini Marathon might not have a full field for the first time in 12 years.

    April 20, 2014

  • Lady Ravens refusing to lose

    The Anderson University softball team swept Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference foe Transylvania University on Saturday at Raven Field to finish a perfect 8-0 at home this season.

    April 19, 2014

  • Arabians win third straight County softball title It was a scenario Pendleton Heights had seen before. The game was scoreless late into the championship game of the Madison County softball tournament.

    April 19, 2014

  • Bulldogs rally past Eagles at Muller Kallen Brooks went 3-for-3 with two RBIs, including a walk-off double in the eighth inning, and Lapel rallied to defeat rival Frankton 3-2 on Saturday at Memorial Field.

    April 19, 2014

  • Eagles stop Lions to claim third place Frankton's Tia Sharp drove in three runs including the game-winner in the bottom of the sixth as the Eagles defeated Liberty Christian 11-1 here Saturday.

    April 19, 2014

  • PH pushes across only run in 7th

    After Frankton's Kyleigh Garner and Pendleton Heights' Bailey Benefiel battled one another to a standstill from the pitcher's circle for six innings, it took one mistake in the seventh to decide the outcome.

    April 19, 2014

  • SPT - HB0419 - County track - 116 Arabians sweep track titles again Beautiful sunshine and warm temperatures greeted the competitors at the Madison County track meet Friday at Madison-Grant. The Pendleton Heights boys and girls teams were looking to take the county for the third year in a row, but Anderson and Lapel had other ideas. It started off as a record-setting meet and finished with a bang as Pendleton was able to wrap up both titles. The girls held off a stiff challenge from Lapel to win 167.5-147, and the boys took the final event of the night to squeak out a 156.5-148.5 win over Lapel.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Arabians clip Eagles, go for Muller repeat The competitive feeling at Pendleton Height’s Bill Stoudt Field quickly faded Friday during the semifinals of the Nick Muller Memorial Baseball Tournament. The Arabians once again took advantage of the opposing team’s generosity as Frankton pitchers gave up six walks and hit five batters, and Pendleton Heights took the 14-3 victory.

    April 18, 2014

  • Arabians win County net title with 5-0 shutout

    An intriguing battle awaited and there was no indication what the team scores would be. Considering the Frankton Eagles had home court advantage, the Pendleton Heights Lady Arabians came hungry for the Madison County tennis title. Pendleton aced a 5-0 win and came away with the crown.

    April 18, 2014