Johnson sought Hill out, was all ears on the bench
Even though George Hill knew that he wasn’t going to play Wednesday night for rest purposes, he still remained an active part of the team sitting amongst his teammates — as did David West and Roy Hibbert.
Orlando Johnson, who’s fresh off his rookie campaign, talked with Hill ahead of the game and requested his help.
“I asked George Hill to sit next to me just so he could talk the game out to me,” Johnson said following the Pacers’ 92-85 loss to the Dallas Mavericks. “Things he sees that I don’t see right now. I think that helps me on the court, getting a chance to see what a point guard, a vet such as George, to give me his outlook on the game.”
Johnson respects what the veterans bring to this team, particularly their work ethic and knowledge gained through experiences. Just 24-years-old, each day is class for Johnson and he’s just trying to soak it all in.
Hill was especially receptive to Johnson, as he should be, because Tony Parker helped him during his three seasons in San Antonio.
“I just tried to tell him stuff that I’ve learned, about playing and being through different situations,” said Hill, who’s three lockers down from Johnson. “The first thing I was saying was to change their facial expressions out there. For a second, we were looking like we already got defeated. The game was still going on so I was telling him when his group gets in there to just change the face. It’s still a long game. Anything is possible if you get consecutive stops in a row.”
Hill, along with a positive message from his teammates and coach Vogel, contributed to the Pacers near come-from-behind win. Johnson, who scored 10 of his 14 points in the final period, helped get the Pacers to within three of the Mavericks. The visitors, however, were able to hold them off.
“We started bringing life back to the team with everybody’s expressions. You miss a shot, it’s alright. Get back on defense and get to the next play. We have to continue to keep fighting. The game’s 48 minutes long so we have to just will ourselves. There’s going to be ups and downs but just staying even-keeled, and it helps when you have vets on the bench constantly talking to you.”