Doc Rivers’ troubling George Hill injury update after Sixers’ key trade deadline deal
The NBA trade deadline has come and gone, and the Philadelphia 76ers made a move to upgrade the point guard position. However, after the Sixers acquired George Hill via trade, the 13-year veteran is apparently still not close to returning from the thumb surgery that has sidelined him since late January.
Sixers head coach Doc Rivers provided an update on Hill’s injured thumb ahead of the win over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday, per The Athletic’s Derek Bodner. Rivers is familiar with the type of injury Hill is dealing with and doesn’t envision a return to the court in the near future:
Rivers on Hill's thumb surgery: "I had that same injury. That's not anything you mess around with. Just one whack, you may not get injured, but the pain is excruciating because the nerves are so raw. So we're gonna try to be as tentative as possible with his injury." https://t.co/s4g8d3iGHY
— Derek Bodner (@DerekBodnerNBA) April 6, 2021
With just 21 games left in the regular season, time is running out for George Hill to return and build chemistry with his new teammates before the playoffs. He may come back in time, but based on Rivers’ response, the timeline is going to be tight.
Hill averaged 11.8 points, 3.1 assists, and 2.1 rebounds in just 14 games with the Oklahoma City Thunder this season before his injury and the trade. While he hasn’t played much this season, the 34-year-old is still a good player when healthy and a solid veteran to have come playoff time, especially thanks to his shooting. He’s at 38.6% on 3-pointers this season and 38.4% for his career, making him an ideal candidate to play alongside stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.
The Sixers are still in a good spot without Hill, sitting atop the Eastern Conference with a 35-16 record. However, once the playoffs roll around, Philly will need all the help it can get in order to win a championship, especially with the mighty Brooklyn Nets standing in their way of an NBA Finals trip. Hopefully, the key trade deadline acquisition will be locked and loaded when that time comes.