Jordan Hill Stepping Up Yet Again for Los Angeles Lakers

Jordan Hill is coming up huge for a Los Angeles Lakers contingent that is forced to find silver linings in small victories.

A time-thwarting performance from Kobe Bryant. A burst of explosion from Ed Davis. A 4-1 record against the NBA's Developmental League Eastern Conference teams. These are the rays of light a lottery-bound Lakers squad must bask in, until such a time when they're equipped for more profound purpose.

Hill's 2014-15 campaign has been blinding compared to nearly everything else. He is not the same player who deserved more minutes last season. He's not even the same player the Lakers signed to a two-year, $18 million deal over the summer, a contract immediately viewed as valuable trade fodder given the team option for 2015-16. 

This version of Hill is different. More refined.

More mature.

“It was that time to step out of my old ways and to grow up,” Hill said ahead of this season, per the Los Angeles Daily News' Mark Medina. “Now I feel really, really good."

His mindset has since translated into another career year.

Some of the advanced stats won't show it. The Lakers are being outscored by 11.8 points per 100 possessions when Hill is on the floor, and they're putting up better offensive and defensive numbers when he's on the bench.

Then again, that's true of the entire starting lineup. 

Fellow starters Bryant, Carlos Boozer, Jeremy Lin and Wesley Johnson are all a minus-11.1 or worse for the season. Hill's performance is right in line with their numbers and most definitely the offshoot of playing within the league's third-worst lineup among five-man combinations that average at least 10 minutes together per game.

Individually, though, he's thriving. He's averaging career highs in minutes (30.9), points (13.7), rebounds (9.5), assists (1.6) and player efficiency rating (19.8), ...

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