Good news and bad news.
The Pacers defeated the Nets today, 106-99, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse to start the season 14-6, but in doing so, lost George Hill indefinitely after jumped on an ankle and suffered a small chip fracture in his left ankle.
Hill has been a little up and down this season, but more recently he has been mostly up, and his absence will be missed. There is no one on the team that can create quite the burst that Hill can off the bench. Perhaps this will be an opportunity for Lance Stephenson and AJ Price to shine.
No time to rest though, as the Pacers head off to Minny to face Ricky Rubio and the Timberwolves next. This Rubio kid looks like the real deal and a genuine gem, and it will be interesting to see how Darren Collison compares after being roughed up by Deron Williams for 34 points and 7 assists today.
Speaking of Deron Williams, there was apparently an ESPN Insider article today that got Pacers fans into heated discussions. The article speculated on the possibility of the Pacers making a run for D-Will by trading George Hill and Darren Collison for him.
Now, before this gets out of hand, let it be reminded that this is mere speculation by the writer and not a legit rumor. D-Will is going to be a free agent next year, and if the Nets don't land Dwight Howard there is a good chance he will flee to a contender. Accordingly, D-Will will most probably be a rental for the rest of the season unless the team that scores him can convince him that they can compete for the title.
The biggest problem with this idea is that there is no way any team would trade significant assets for D-Will unless they are either banking on a all-or-nothing once-off run for the championship this year or can guarantee that D-Will will re-sign with them next season. The next biggest problem is that the Nets would be crazy to trade D-Will for Collison and Hill.
Reading the various forums, I was stunned to see the number of Pacers fans who are shooting down this "trade" because they don't think D-Will is worth Collison and Hill combined. Maybe it's just a matter of them being homers who believe Collison and Hill are better than they really are, but if you can score a player like D-Will for more than a couple of seasons you'd be certifiably insane to not try and get him, especially if all you are giving up is Collison and Hill (if it was Roy Hibbert and Paul George you might need to think for a second).
I like Collison and Hill as much as the next Pacers fan, but we're talking about D-Will here. D-Will, the guy many would have picked over Chris Paul only a couple of seasons ago. One of the top three PGs in the league along with Paul and Derrick Rose. A playmaking scorer who has size, skill and leadership, not to mention has the ability to absolutely take over a game (see today's Pacers game as a prime example). His Utah departure, health and less than optimal production this season aside, D-Will is the kind of player the Pacers have been dying to get forever. People always say that the Pacers are a good team, but what they lack is a true superstar who can win the big tight games for them. How they don't realize that D-Will is one of these rare players is beyond me.