Posted May 17, 2013 on AP on Fox
The Indiana Pacers head into Game 6 against the New York Knicks in unfamiliar territory. Point guard George Hill is out with a concussion, NBA rules requiring him to pass a concussion test before he can play again. The Pacers have no idea whether that will come in time for Saturday night's potential closeout game. Officially, the team says Hill is day-to-day. It's a sensitive topic around Pacers headquarters, where coaches and players remain hopeful Hill will be back on the court but are preparing as if he won't be around to help. ''Learning about it at the last minute was not ideal,'' coach Frank Vogel said. ''But as a coach you prepare for those scenarios all the time. If someone gets hurt in the first minute of the game, it's the same thing, right?'' This is not the same thing, and that became evident late Friday afternoon when the NBA posted its concussion protocol on its own web site to clear up any potential discrepancies. Pacers spokesman David Benner instructed reporters to view the protocol because the team would not answer questions about it. The policy states that any player diagnosed with a concussion must be held out of all activities until he is symptom-free at rest and they see no ''appreciable'' difference between the players' baseline test conducted before the season and the test after the injury. Then the player must prove he is symptom-free as the level of exertion increases. Team doctors can then determine whether the player passes, a decision that must be discussed with Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher, the NBA's director of the concussion program. The league has not established a timetable for how long players must sit out before returning because each injury is different. Sometimes, the recovery time is quick. Kobe Bryant, for instance, did not miss a game after breaking his nose and being diagnosed with a concussion in February 2012. Vogel and the Pacers would not provide details of the symptoms Hill felt Thursday, citing federal privacy laws. Vogel did say he was informed of the injury following Thursday's morning shootaround and found out via text message at 4 p.m. that Hill had been ruled out of the game. Hill did not attend practice Friday, and Vogel said he had not spoken with his starting point guard before the session ended. Hill is expected to undergo at least one more concussion test before tip-off against the Knicks. The Pacers haven't ruled Hill out - and neither have the Knicks. ''With or without George (Hill), the pressure has got to stay the same,'' Knicks coach Mike Woodson told reporters during a conference call. ''We're preparing as if he is going to play. But the pressure has got to come whether he (Hill) is out there or someone else is out there.'' The severity of the injury is unclear, too. Hill was injured early in Game 4 when he ran into Knicks center Tyson Chandler. He got up and looked a little wobbly after the collision, but did not leave the game and finished with 26 points in an 83-72 win. That gave Indiana a commanding 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinals. D.J. Augustin replaced Hill in the lineup Thursday and the Pacers struggled. They finished with 19 turnovers and wound up losing 85-75, a victory that got the Knicks within 3-2 and sent the series back to Indy for Game 6. Augustin played nearly 39 minutes and scored 12 points with no assists. When asked what he would do Saturday if Hill couldn't play, Vogel replied curtly, ''No comment,'' before explaining he didn't want to give away his game plan, a comment that drew chuckles. If Augustin doesn't start, one possibility would be using All-Star Paul George at the spot. Vogel did that at times in Game 5 and George responded with a double-double - 23 points and 10 rebounds - and six assists. ''Honestly, I felt like having the ball in my hands put me in rhythm and the shots started falling for me,'' George said. That's something the Pacers certainly need. They've only closed out three playoff series at home since 2000: last year against Orlando; in 2000 against Milwaukee in the first round and against New York in the conference finals. And they don't want this chance to slip away regardless of who is healthy and who isn't. ''Here is where we really want to end it,'' George said. ''If not, it will really be up for grabs.'' The Knicks understand, too. They've spent most of the series trying to rally after losing Game 1 at home, and with time running short on the comebacks, Woodson knows this is no time to play games. His lineup changes helped New York stabilize its struggling offense in Game 5, which they led from wire-to-wire. With or without Hill, New York must play the same way Saturday at Indiana, where they're 0-4 this season, or they'll be heading home for the summer instead of going home for a decisive seventh game. ''Again, we've got to validate what we did last night,'' Woodson said. ''That was a must-win; our backs were against the wall. They still are. When we lost Game 1, we knew right then and there that the only way to get out of this series was to go get one at Indiana and this is our last chance.''

Pacers' Hill will play in Game 6

Indiana Pacers guard George Hill has been cleared to play Saturday night against the New York Knicks in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series. Hill missed Game 5 on Thursday night in New York because of a concussion. The Pacers released a statement about 1 1/2 hours before the scheduled tipoff saying Hill passed the NBA's return protocol as part of the league'...

Pacers say Hill to undergo more concussion tests

Pacers guard George Hill will have another concussion test before Saturday's home playoff game. Hill missed Thursday night's game after complaining of headaches. He was diagnosed with a concussion. NBA policy requires players to pass a concussion test before returning to action. Hill did not practice Friday, and coach Frank Vogel said he had not spoken with him. Vogel said...

George Hill Cleared to Play in Game 6 of Knicks vs. Pacers

I am sure the doctors were paid handsomely for this. Breaking: George Hill has been cleared to play. — Howard Beck (@HowardBeckNYT) May 18, 2013 In statement, Pacers say Hill passed each step of the NBA’s “return-to-participation exertion protocol,” per concussion guidelines. — Howard Beck (@HowardBeckNYT) May 18, 2013 Pacers say, “During the process, George remained...

George Hill Cleared To Play In Game 6 Vs. Knicks

Indiana Pacers starting point guard, George Hill, has passed the league’s return protocol as stated in the NBA’s concussion policy and will play in Game 6 vs. the Knicks on Saturday night. According to ESPN: Indiana Pacers guard George Hill has been cleared to play Saturday night against the New York Knicks in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series. [...] The...

Hill not yet cleared to play for Pacers

The Indiana Pacers won't know until Saturday night whether point guard George Hill will start in Game 6 against New York. Hill participated in the team's morning shootaround, which is part of the process of passing his concussion test. But doctors had not yet cleared Hill to play. ''He just did some work today. He looked fine, but he has to do more tests this afternoon...

George Hill Starts Game 6

George Hill has been cleared to play and will start for the Indiana Pacers in Game 6 against the New York Knicks on Saturday night. Pacers coach Frank Vogel said he doesn't expect Hill, who suffered a concussion on Tuesday night and missed Thursday's Game 5, to be limited. The team released the following statement about 90 minutes prior to the tip: Over the last two days...

George Hill Out For Game 5 With Concussion

George Hill was ruled out for Game 5 by the Indiana Pacers due to a concussion suffered in Game 4. The Pacers had kept Hill's injury quiet. Hill believes he suffered the injury when being hit in the head by Tyson Chandler. D.J. Augustin will start and Frank Vogel said that Paul George could even see some time at the point.

Pacers George Hill Ruled Out of Game 5 Against Knicks With Concussion

Tough break for the Pacers, but good news for the Knicks. Pacers guard @george_hill3 will miss tonight’s game at New York due to a concussion sustained in Game 4. — Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) May 16, 2013

Pacers lose ugly game 5 without George HIll

This game was so ugly that I don't really want to talk about it. Even Grantland did a write up of how comical it was at times (yikes). All that needs to be said is that George Hill was out with a concussion suffered against Tyson Chandler in game 5, the Pacers had to start DJ Augustin, the Pacers played horribly and missed nearly half their free throws, and the Knicks escaped...

Eastern Conference Finals set Pacers vs. Heat

The Pacers knocked off the Knicks six games to move on to the Eastern Conference finals. Now it’s off to South Beach to face off against the Miami Heat with the first game set for Wednesday, May 22. The Heat will have had almost a week off since ending their last series against the Chicago Bulls in 5 games. The Pacers play team ball and have a true young center in Roy Hibbert....

Knicks vs Pacers Game 6 Notes

By Ralph Guerrero @ralphguerrero The Pacers George Hill attended the Pacers shoot around this morning as part of the concussion testing required by the NBA.  He is listed as a game time decision.  The shoot around is just one of the tests Hill will have to pass, so, as expected, the Pacers are preparing as if he will not play and the Knicks are preparing as if he will play. ...

Slow Motion Video:The Indiana Pacers advance to the Eastern Conference finals

The Indiana Pacers needed a career-high game from Lance Stephenson to take down the New York Knicks in Game 6. Stephenson chipped in 25 points on Saturday as the Pacers walked away with a hard fought 106-99 win to advance to the Eastern Conference finals. Stephenson also secured 10 rebounds while Paul George contributed 23 points to the Pacers’ collection plate. Roy Hibbert...

New York Knicks – Still Breathing, Bring On Game 6

Hooray more basketball! The New York Knicks extended at least two more days to their season with a 85-75 victory over the Indiana Pacers tonight. It was a generally ugly game, filled with a seemingly endless amount of turnovers, missed shots and missed free throws. Yet, the Knicks grabbed control early, gradually built their lead and never let the Pacers really threaten in the final...

Knicks stave off elimination and still have yet to face the real challenge that is game six in Indiana 85-75

The Knicks were able to win game five at home, they were facing elimination and obviously were not looking to be knocked out in New York. Still its a small victory because the obvious real test is the next game. A game six that has the Pacers, with a chance to avoid a very dangerous game seven for them, eliminate the Knicks from the playoffs. The Pacers will come with more intensity...
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