How Jordan Hill Can Bounce Back with LA Lakers This Season

Despite playing in just 29 games last season, it’s very clear that Jordan Hill is a vital, indispensable piece of the puzzle known as the Los Angeles Lakers.

The 6’10” forward had hip surgery in January and returned for the final three beatings that L.A. received at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs.

Despite last season's issues, Lakers head trainer Gary Vitti has told Mike Trudell of that Hill “should be fully functional by the start of the season," so the team can breathe easy about his health—for now.

What is a red flag, though, is the amount of playing time Hill received when he was healthy—just 15.8 minutes per game in 2013. Mike D’Antoni coached Hill briefly during his rookie season on the New York Knicks and only gave him 10.5 minutes a night.


Huge Bump in Playing Time

Next season, Hill’s minute total needs to skyrocket if D’Antoni wants to keep his job. The four-year veteran will bring relentless energy, consistent rebounding and frontcourt offense outside of Pau Gasol every night, and he might even be worthy of a spot in the starting lineup because of his immense upside.

While Chris Kaman, who signed with Los Angeles to fill the void left by the departure of Dwight Howard, is dependable, he isn’t a game changer.

And after seeing how the D12/Gasol combination created such a huge cluster in the paint last season, D’Antoni might be inclined to give Hill, who can stretch the defense with an improving mid-range jumper, the nod.

Another reason why Hill would be able to start alongside Gasol is his athleticism. The Lakers want to play fast this season, especially after the acquisitions of Wesley Johnson and Nick Young, and that’s what D’Antoni is comfortable doing.

Hill is worlds ahead...

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