Jordan Hill started one game and appeared in 29 towards averages of 6.7 points and 5.7 rebounds on 49.7 percent field goals. A left hip injury that required surgery caused him to miss the remaining 53 contests.
Hill was cleared for basketball-related activity after Game 1 of L.A.’s first round playoff series, returning to the court three months ahead of the projected timetable recovery. He recorded a total of 10 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks in 31 minutes in three postseason contests.
Below is a summary of his exit interview:
- On how his hip feels now and his return to the court three months earlier than expected after undergoing hip surgery on Jan. 23: “I feel great. Probably was a smart thing to keep it rested, but I felt good about it and I just wanted to play, definitely in the playoffs.” The hip may not recover to be fully 100 percent of what it was since he had the surgery, but it should get very close. That can be said of any surgery, really, and it’s Hill’s job to strengthen around the area so that his game is unaffected. Right now, Hill said the hip is at 80 to 85 percent. During practices and games, it could tighten up, but he had no pain. Hill also stated he’ll go back to Tennessee for a follow up visit with his surgeon. Hill also suffered a herniated disc in the preseason, but said that was not an issue as the season went on.
- On the season as a whole: “There were a lot of injuries. We did whatever we had to do, and kept our head high. There was a lot of turmoil and we did a great job of handling it well.” Hill believes the team has all the pieces to make a run next season, but admits – like everybody else – injuries took its toll on the club. It wasn’t necessarily the way he envisioned the season going, but he was proud of the way the guys fought.
- Hill was asked about what his best position is, depending upon what system the Lakers put in next season (if D’Antoni has a chance to put in his preferred offense, traditionally featuring one big man and a stretch four). He didn’t have a specific answer, saying this: “I just want to play … rebound, defend, shoot the ball: just put me out there and let me go to work.”