Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
After two games in which Jordan Hill did not play a single minute, Rick Adelman admitted that he may have overlooked the intriguing big man in the rotation and that his talents certainly merited more playing time.
After a decent showing in just four minutes against Denver, Adelman played Hill over Brad Miller as the back-up center against the athletic front court of the New Orleans Hornets and was rewarded with a solid performance. Hill only had four points in 26 minutes; however, he proved his worth with nine rebounds and three blocks while limiting himself to just one turnover, a statistic which he has struggled with in his career thus far.
However, if the Rockets want to utilize Hill's talents to their fullest potential, they need to play him at his natural position, power forward, and ideally play him alongside Yao Ming. While he stands a full 6'10" and is fairly athletic, he is going to struggle against most centers because of a lack of bulk and length.
Alongside Yao Ming, however, he would fit absolutely perfectly.
Because of his complete lack of mobility early in the season, Yao has struggled to block shots from the weak side when wings let their match-up past them. Hill, on the other hand, excels at blocking shots from the weak side and would help cover up Yao's defensive inadequacies.
Additionally, while Yao is adept at gathering rebounds near the rim because of his size, Hill's mobility and ability to chase down rebounds further from the basket would allow the Rockets to overcome some of their defensive rebounding issues that have plagued them earlier in the season.
Offensively, while Hill's jump shot is a work in progress, he has shown the ability to make the mid-range jumper when consistently open. Getting open looks more often would only help him.
If the Rockets are going to get better, they need somebody to improve significantly and make a big contribution. Looking up and down the roster, other than fellow lottery pick Patrick Patterson, Hill is the only player who could easily make that jump. The Rockets need him to do make that jump and the only way to see if he can do it is to give him the chance.