Will Point Guard Remain a Weak Point for the Indiana Pacers?

Joe TacosikCorrespondent IJanuary 2, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS - DECEMBER 10:  Frank Vogel of the Indiana Pacers talks with George Hill #3 drives to the basket against the Miami Heat at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on December 10, 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and condition of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: 2013 NBAE  (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)
Ron Hoskins/Getty Images

While the Indiana Pacers are continuing to build on their franchise-best start, there are always questions to be raised with even the best teams. For Indiana, there is still one major question mark on the roster—the point guard position.

While fan favorite and local IUPUI product George Hill has been the full-time starter since the end of the 2011-12 season, the level of play hasn't exactly been ideal from a point guard's perspective. Hill's generally inconsistent play has added fuel to the fire.

So, the question must be raised—Is Hill the best option for the Indiana Pacers at PG?

There are several angles to take when analyzing this question. The first would be to first decide whether or not Hill is the player best-equiped player on the roster to start at the point. In comparison to C.J. Watson, the team's current backup to Hill, the two are actually quite even.

George Hill vs C.J. Watson (Per 36 Minutes)
PointsAssistsReboundsAST % (Percentage of Plays Assisted While On Floor)Player Efficiency Rating (PER)
George Hill12.64.04.117.4%13.9
C.J. Watson11.63.53.114.9%12.4
Stats via Pro Basketball Reference

However, with Hill having the slight advantage and chemistry within the starting five, there is nothing that suggests head coach Frank Vogel should be making a switch in the starting lineup. Coming off of a victory on December 31 over the Cleveland Cavaliers, Vogel had nothing but praise for the guard.

So, how does Hill compare when stacked up against some of the best point guards in the entire league? When comparing numbers, there's quite a noticeable discrepancy in talent.

George Hill vs Elite Guards (Per 36 Minutes)
PointsAssistsReboundsAST %PER
George Hill12.64.04.117.4%13.9
Chris Paul20.111.64.854.2%27.3
Damian Lillard21.15.93.125.5%20.3
Stephen Curry22.19.24.543.2%22.9
Stats via Pro Basketball Reference

As the numbers show, there's quite a considerable difference between the elite point guards in the league and Hill.

Though the Pacers have excelled without the presence of a true point guard, it's easy for fans to wonder what this team could truly achieve with an abundance of production from the floor general.

In early December, trade rumors began swirling of a possible swap involving Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo. The rumor, as noted by Candace Buckner of The Indianapolis Star, had Indiana sending Hill and forward Danny Granger to Boston for the experienced point guard.

While the trade rumor had no credibility, it's a trade that would be worth looking into.

When comparing the two point guards, it's clear Rondo is better-equipped to run an offense as a natural fit in the point guard position. Here are the comparisons between Hill's current season and Rondo's last full campaign with Boston.

George Hill vs Rajon Rondo (Per 36 Minutes)
PointsAssistsReboundsAST %PER
George Hill12.64.04.117.4%13.9
Rajon Rondo (2011-12)11.611.43.652.5%17.5
via Pro Basketball Reference

The big question mark, however, is Rondo's injury. Coming off knee surgery in the 2012-13 season, Rondo has yet to play a game this season, leaving doubts about how the point guard will return to form.

It appears that, although the Rondo option would be a good opportunity, the best option right now for the Indiana Pacers is to stick with what they have. 

Making a trade and risking a disruption in team chemistry is something the Pacers shouldn't toy with, given their recent success with the starting five. Everyone's heard the saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," and it appears Indiana should stick to that blueprint.

 

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