Jordan Hill Proves He Should Start for Lakers

There's a good chance Jordan Hill will start for the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday.

And the game after that. And the game after that.

Head coach Mike D'Antoni was looking to shake up the LA starting five in the wake of a two-game losing streak, and many Laker fans were itching to see Hill start in at the power forward spot. 

After all, Hill has been arguably the Lakers' best player of the season to date. Though he had yet to play huge minutes, his efficiency numbers were through the roof.

Coming into tonight's game, he led the team with a .629 shooting percentage, 21.0 rebound rate, 21.8 player efficiency rating and .178 win shares per 48 minutes, according to Basketball Reference. Those are the kinds of numbers that simply scream out for more playing time.

Well, tonight against the same New Orleans Pelicans team that handled the Lakers just four nights earlier, Hill got those extra minutes. And the 26-year-old forward did not disappoint.

Hill started and played over 26 minutes in the Lakers' convincing 116-95 victory. While his overall stat line is impressive—a career-high 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting, 7 of 8 from the free-throw line, 11 rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block—the numbers don't begin to tell the whole story.

Moving Hill to the starting lineup seemed to re-energize center Paul Gasol, who finished with an efficient 14 points, eight rebounds and three assists after struggling over the past few games. Chris Kaman also flourished following his move to the bench. Kaman worked marvelously with the second unit, notching eight points, nine rebounds and a shocking six assists. 

Perhaps most importantly, the revamped Laker frontcourt did a marvelous job on New Orleans phenom Anthony Davis. Davis wreaked havoc on a lethargic Gasol and Kaman last Friday, dominating the older...

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