Parker Keeping Close Tabs On Pacers’ Hill

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – When Indiana Pacers guard George Hill knocked down four big free throws in the final 50 seconds of the Pacers’ Eastern Conference-evening Game 2 win Friday night, one of George’s biggest fans was glued to a TV set some 1,000 miles away.

“I watched the whole game,” San Antonio Spurs point guard and Hill’s former teammate Tony Parker said following Saturday morning’s shootaround in preparation for tonight’s Game 3 of the Western Conference finals (9 p.m. ET, ESPN). “We’ve been texting the whole playoffs. I always follow George. He’s like my little brother, so I always text him.”

The Spurs drafted Hill out of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis with the 26th overall pick in 2008. In three seasons with the Spurs, the combo guard quickly became a reliable reserve behind Parker and Manu Ginobili, as well as a key fill-in starter at times when either Parker or Ginobili were injured.

So it came as a surprise when the Spurs pulled off the 2011 draft-day trade that sent Hill to his hometown Pacers in exchange for San Diego State’s Kawhi Leonard, who Indiana selected with the 15th pick. The trade is a rare one in that both sides got exactly what they wanted. Hill took over as the Pacers’ starting point guard at the end of last season and has been a central figure in Indiana’s rise and its run to the East finals.

Meanwhile, Leonard has fit into the Spurs’ plans flawlessly as the starting small forward, and is lauded by coach Gregg Popovich for improving the team’s defense and rebounding this season, while also becoming an offensive threat from almost any area on the floor.

In Friday’s Game 2 against the Miami Heat, Hill scored 18 points on 6-for-8 shooting in a team-high 41 minutes. With the game tied 93-93 and 48.9 seconds to go, Hill stepped to the free throw line for two crucial shots. He had missed all three of his previous attempts in the game, including a pair with about eight minutes to go in the game that could have put Indiana up five, but instead led to LeBron James giving Miami a one-point lead with a 3-pointer.

This time Hill nailed both free throws to give Indiana a 95-93 lead. He did it again with 8.3 seconds to go, this time sealing the game with a four-point cushion.

Parker said he texted Hill afterward.

“We’ve been in a lot of contact lately, [him] asking me advice and stuff like that,” Parker said. “So I try to do my job and be a good big brother. I am very proud of him and he’s playing great basketball.”

Parker was asked if he might regret giving Hill some of this advice if both teams advance to the NBA Finals.

“No,” Parker laughed. “I love George. He’s fine.”

27 Comments

  1. Douglas Reid says:

    Pacers are making a believer of me; they could take the Heat because heat cannot load up their D on any one or two players and that is causing them problems. And as I watch both series I do believe that I would find a Pacers/Spurs series more fun to watch. Call me old school; call me crazy.
    Spurs all the way.

  2. chris says:

    INDIANA IS GOIN ALL THE WAY THE MIAMI HEAT IS AFRAID OF INDIANA DEFENSE BUT THE HEAT DONT WANNA ADMIT THAT AT ALL BUT ITS THE TRUTH THATS Y MIAMI DID NOT WANTED TO PLAY INDIANA IN THE PLAYOFFS THEY WANTED THE OLD BEAT UP KNICKS SO THEY CAN HAVE THE EASY ROAD GUESS WHAT THE PACERS R COMING N WATCH OUT BEAT THE HEAT,BEAT THE HEAT,BEAT THE HEAT,BEAT THE HEAT HERE WE COME SPURS

  3. honkskillet says:

    Hmmm. Hill must have a hot wife. Watch your back George!

  4. Mike V says:

    Spurs have sportmanship and Poise. Thats why they win, they have fun playing the game they love.

  5. MATT THE GREAT1 says:

    @SALLY

    YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW WELL THE PACERS WILL OR WONT DO AGAINST THE HEAT. IN BOTH THE FIRST TWO GAMES PACERS DOMINATED THE MAJORITY OF THE GAME, YOU DON’T HAVE INCOMPLETE TEAMS LIKE THE HEAT PLAYED BEFORE. THE PACERS HAVE A MEAN OFFENSE TEAM AND A FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH ON DEFENSE. THEY DON’T JUST HAVE ONE SCORER THE HEAT HAVE TO GUARD EVERYBODY. YOU HAVE GEORGE HILL, PAUL GEORGE, HILBERT ON THE INSIDE YOU HAVE AN OVERALL COMPLETE TEAM. THE PACERS COULD VERY WELL TAKE THE HEAT.

  6. Fefe (Nets) says:

    Yeah I just hope so much that Parker & Hill meet in The Finals!!!

  7. Yeah I don’t think so either, Tony Parker has matured enough through the years and has played a better game.

  8. Holden says:

    haha maybe you are right XD

  9. sally says:

    The media is working very hard to stir up the Heat fans. I don’t get into all their hype, it is a lot of BS. Half of the things they say are just things taken out of context and rearranged to suit them and get fans all upset and amped up. Indiana will not be playing the Spurs, so Tony and George don’t have to worry. Go Heat !!!

  10. Realist1234 says:

    “I taught you everything you know, but I didn’t teach you everything -i- know.”

  11. Sebastian says:

    Advice yes, but never the trade secrets.

  12. MiamiChamps says:

    Indiana will not go to finals

  13. Willy says:

    George Hill cannot guard TP it doesn’t matter. Will TP finally get the credit he deserves from you writers? 2nd team NBA ? He could have been first over either Kobe or C Paul. He made Memphis look helpless in game 3 , 4 th quarter.

  14. J says:

    parker is way better than hill and pacers wont beat heat
    GO SPURS!
    GO HEAT!

  15. daniel says:

    Now this is a decent story….. good sportsmanship ….way better than all that B.S. media.

  16. Defense wins Champioships

  17. If you want to win, so be fearlees. Hill and Parker are no fearlees.

  18. No good basketball player

  19. Travis Best says:

    Boris Diaw – is he the next to come out?

  20. Another Heat Fan says:

    I’m sure Parker didn’t give him all his advice, just in case they do meet in the finals xD