George Hill will play in Indiana’s crucial, and potentially series-deciding, Game 6 against the New York Knicks on Saturday.
“We did everything by the book,” Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel told the media in the hours before his team’s match with the Knicks. Vogel told the media that his team’s medical staff, in concert with the NBA, put George Hill through all the proper paces as he recovered from a concussion suffered in Game 4 of his team’s series against the New York Knicks. Hill missed Game 5 because of that concussion, surprising most who witnessed both his brilliant play during the Game 4 win and affable demeanor post-game.
The NBA’s concussion policy is lightly defined, when it comes to choosing a number of games a player can sit out for; but what is known about the policy is the stringent, recently-made, tests that players have to go through. Whether the player in question enjoys the tests or not, the NBA runs an exacting standard of procedures put in place to determine if the athlete in question is fit to compete in a safe environment that would not leave the player in question prone to future head injury.
We hope that’s the case, at least. Saturday’s Game 6 is an important game, full of intrigue and season-deciding drama. What’s most important, though, is Hill’s long-term health. Brain “injuries” aren’t about gutting anything out; and it isn’t as if Hill (who was already dodging elbows from the likes of players like Tyson Chandler well before his concussion) was shirking his responsibility in Game 5.
We just hope his ability to suit up for Game 6 stems from a good report from a doctor that has nothing to do with the NFL, and that this is the last time we’ll ever have to discuss a head injury to George Hill.