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.