Jordan Hill Can Play

His pretty stats aside, Jordan Hill’s effort during last night’s game ought to quiet the incessant clamor for all the other players the Knicks supposedly missed out on. He showed a panoply of good qualities that the Knicks’ veteran big men are sorely lacking. Among them:

  • For a 6’11 player, he runs like a deer. And he changes ends at full speed on every possession. That kind of hustle and athleticism up front is what usually powers SSOL.
  • He has power and explosiveness. That flush on the break was amazing. Imagine how many easy buckets Hill could get if he played with a PG that pushed the pace and could get him the ball in front of the rim.
  • Hill has a soft jumper. Once he learns when (and how) to put it on the deck and when he should pop that j, he’s going to be murder on opposing 5’s.
  • He crashes the glass. Unlike other Knick bigs, Hill goes after every rebound. And he was rewarded for that effort with 3 offensive boards and a put back last night.

Hill unquestionably has some rough edges. He’s a poor ball handler out on the perimeter (he even struggles with hand-off type stuff) and it’s obvious that he’s a bit overwhelmed by the speed of the game at this point. But he has the DNA of an ideal 5 for this system. I don’t think there’s any question that he can help the team while he learns.

Considering what the Knicks have playing in front of him, it’s past time to take this baby out for a spin.

9 comments

  1. Dan L

    Yea there’s pretty much no reason to play the prideless/ineffective players anymore. I feel bad that benching Harrington will lower his value in the open market but on a deeper level, I don’t care at all. I think the rotation at this point should be Douglas, Chandler, gallo, hill, darko, curry (if he earns it), landry, and Nate & lee (only because they are the least bad guys left and you need to fill out the rotation).

  2. Nathan

    Brandon Jennings 55 points, are u kidding me! Jordan Hill ain’t getting that over 82 games, ohhhhh boy thanks a lot Donnie

  3. Dan L

    I was very against the possibility of the knicks taking Jennings. Clearly I was wrong and I’m not scared to admit it. Doesn’t mean though that hill won’t be productive or that we should diminish what we saw on Friday, which was clearly nice talent.

  4. Jon

    Only time will tell of course, but to me Jennings smacks of the kind of player who excites you when he’s young with his incredible gifts but you eventually come to realize can’t take you anywhere worth going.

    Think Marbury, Iverson, Arenas et al.

    Good for the Bucks but no thank you.

  5. Dan L

    Exactly. Have fans always been this quick to judge? I want to say yes but to me it seems like they are giving this regime a shorter leash. They haven’t even been given an opportunity to carry out their mandate.

  6. Jon

    I think this is the genesis of the conventional wisdom that “You can’t rebuild in NY.” This is what a true rebuild looks like. It’s messy and ugly and it entails a lot of losing. But the upside for this model is much greater than the “rebuild on the fly” tact that Layden and Isiah tried. It sucks that we’re this bad and we don’t have a first round pick this year, but that’s the way it is. And the Isiah/Layden way will never work, so it’s time to do genuine rebuild.

    Frankly, I’m glad that Donnie and D’Antoni appear so entrenched in their jobs because a lot of fans cannot be trusted to put things in proper perspective. I believe Dolan’s (in)famous loyalty is going to pay off this time.

  7. ez

    Good work as always on the blog Dan and Jon. Life has had me busy lately so I have not had time to post but I have been reading every day.

    It’s too early to pass judgment on jennings, right now the facts are that he dropped 55 points before his 21st birthday and more importantly his team is 5-2. He has injected life into a moribund franchise.

    Also your killing me by lumping AI with marbury and arenas (you know i have a soft spot for ai). AI is an mvp in this league, a first ballot hall of famer, and took his team to an nba finals. Granted he is a flawed player but also a far superior one than gilbert and marbury.

  8. Italian Stallion

    I have to agree with you guys.

    I don’t feel bad about missing Jennings. He had no real playing time in Europe to judge him off of and what little we saw of his personality before the draft made you think “another Marbury or Iverson personality type”.

    I’m a little upset that we didn’t take a crack at Lawson because I was very high on him (maybe trade down or something), but if Douglas can learn to distribute better, I’m very happy where we are now draft wise.

  9. Pingback: With Jordan Hill Emerging, Stakes On Donnie’s Gambit Increase | The Knicks FanBlog

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