Hill and Augustin a Nice Couple, but…
Frank Vogel experimented with a new strategic wrinkle in Saturday’s win over Milwaukee, one that was greeted favorably by those wrinkled.
Point guards George Hill and D.J. Augustin played together for one of the few times all season, and for what is believed to be the longest amount of time. They started the fourth quarter together and played for 5 minutes, 46 seconds. It was difficult to assess the success of the experiment because the Pacers already led by 13 points at the start of the period, but they did extend it the lead by five more points by the time Augustin was subbed out.
“It’s fun playing with George,” Augustin said. “We try to find each other and we’re able to push the ball and find our teammates.
“We both know how to play the game. It’s easier playing with another guy like that on the floor.”
Hill stated earlier in the season that he is still growing accustomed to playing point guard, and is more comfortable at shooting guard. His performance has generally masked his preference, however, as he’s averaging 15.2 points, 5.1 assists and 1.8 turnovers.
Vogel said he’s not likely to play the two together frequently, regardless of what anyone prefers.
“I know he likes playing the two, but with him running the point guard spot we become more dominant,” Vogel said of Hill. “He’s an undersized two, but he has great length and great size for the point guard position. That’s why we signed him to that contract (five years, $40 million over the summer) to be the point guard. We want him in there as much as possible.”
Augustin seems to have regained his bearings since starting in place of Hill, who returned Saturday after missing three games with what was described as both a thigh contusion and groin injury. Augustin scored a season-high 17 points in Hill’s first game out of the lineup, 18 in the second and six in the third. He has hit 8-of-15 three-pointers in the last four games, after hitting just 11-of-51 before then.