Should the Spurs start Hill?

By Robby Lim

The Spurs have exactly played eight games. Coach Pop continues to experiment with his starting lineup. He has started Blair over McDyess against the Thunder and Tony Parker’s return sends Hill back to his backup role.

The Spurs big man rotation is almost clear, it would be Duncan, Dice, Blair, Bonner and in some nights Ratliff will get some time.

The backcourt rotation is a different story. The Spurs continue to lack consistent production from the shooting guard position. If Finley starts, he can provide some offense (he’s averaging 7.2 points while shooting 54% from the field in 5 starts), but he is a liability on defense. Bogans’ defensive tenacity has been admirable but his lack of consistency on the offensive end is also an issue. Mason could be the answer because he has proven in the past season he plays better when starting.

Roger Mason’s numbers last season:


Mason’s numbers this season:

The point is, right now Mason is shooting horribly and is essentially playing his way out of the Spurs’ rotation.

What about Ginobili? Seems like a good idea, he’s a heck of player and should be a starter for any NBA team right? Though he could start on any NBA team, for the Spurs’ purposes he is best coming off the bench to provide the needed boost when things go flat.

Which brings us to George Hill. This guy has been solid on both ends of the floor. He proved he can play the point position very well. In his two starts as the Spurs point guard, they won games against the Raptors and the Mavericks. No, I’m not saying that he should start at the PG position, Tony Parker is our starting point guard no doubt.

George Hill’s numbers in this season: (notice, the dramatic improvement when plays as as starter)


George HillBut what about starting George Hill at the two guard? Yes he would be undersized at that position at 6’2” but what he lacked on size, he can compensate with his length (6’9” wingspan).

More importantly, Hill can provide defensive tenacity and offense at the same time. He’s shooting 48% from the field, 53.3% from beyond the arc in 8 games and can attack the rim and finish.

If he’s included in the starting lineup, we could have a starting five of TD-Dyess-RJ-Tony and Hill. It’s a smaller lineup, but it’s quicker and more athletic. George Hill could provide the Spurs another player that can really create his own shot. With Parker and Jefferson also zipping to the lane, it could be a defensive headache for the other teams. That’s not mention we still have Duncan at the post and McDyess’ ability to hit some mid-range jumpers.

Now you might ask, if Hill starts, who’s gonna be our backup point? Manu can assume some point guard duties when Hill and Tony are both out. Other wise, Manu should slide at the two guard position with Parker or Hill manning the point.

Please leave us your thoughts and comments on if George Hill should be in the starting lineup?

About Michael A. De Leon

Michael founded Project Spurs in 2004. He started The Spurscast, the first Spurs podcast on the Internet, in 2005. Michael has been interviewed by the BBC, SportTalk, the Sports Reporters Radio Show, MemphisSportLive, OKC Sports Wrap and ESPN radio among others. He is a credentialed member of the media for the San Antonio Spurs and Austin Toros. He is also the founder of Project Spurs' sister sites, Toros Nation and Stars Hoops.