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Paul George is the Pacers' best player, but another George is their most important player.
George Hill holds the key to Indiana's chance, because, well... he is the orchestrator of the offense.
The offense, one that has been stagnant at points during the year, runs through Hill. He is their primary ball-handler and has to be the one setting up his teammates with open looks.
He hasn't done a great job of it, and it's part of the reason the Pacers rank 27th in assists per game. The stat itself is only important because it is indicative of how well a team shares the ball. Not only that, it also shows relatively how well a player, or team, gets good looks at the basket.
Hill is only averaging 4.7 assists per game, which is very low for a primary point guard. To put that in perspective, Indiana's small forward is averaging 4.1 assists per game—in Hill's defense, that is high for a No. 3.
Moving forward, Hill will face tough defenses that will lock onto him and his opponents more fiercely than they did during the regular season. Decent looks at the basket will be considered good ones when the playoffs begin, so George must set his teammates for semi-easy baskets.
Luckily, he won't be facing the elite points guards that the Western Conference features, which greatly benefits Hill and the Pacers.
Hill, however, is a solid defender and has the length to guard opposing No. 2 guards. He can help out on Dwayne Wade and J.R. Smith, should they match up.
More importantly will be his playmaking ability. He can get to the rim, which will be essential against Chicago and New York. Not only will it lead to easy baskets and easy assists, but it will get foul-prone players like Tyson Chandler in foul trouble, opening opportunities for Indiana's big men.
Hill is the X-Factor in these playoffs for a team that needs offensive efficiency.