Knicks-Pacers Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated May 17, 2013
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.''
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

NBA players to fund health insurance for former players

Report: Geno Smith 'intent' on beating out Ryan Fitzpatrick

Greg Jennings: Ryan Tannehill has had his hands tied by coaches

Josh McDaniels 'happy' with Pats but wants to be a head coach again

WATCH: Jim Harbaugh in cleats throws out first pitch at Cubs game

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Why Rickie Fowler will win the PGA Championship

Warren Sapp bitten on arm by shark

Baker considering removing Papelbon from closer role?

Greg Hardy struggling to find work, reportedly even in CFL

Jets players told not to discuss Ryan Fitzpatrick situation

Brock Lesnar won't be punished by WWE for UFC drug test

Report: Ravens WR Mike Wallace failed conditioning test

WATCH: Kobe Bryant drives Ferrari around Italian racetrack

Terrelle Pryor shouts out Ohio State after ban ends

Justin Timberlake advocates for Memphis to join Big 12

Poll: Las Vegas residents don’t support public funds for NFL stadium

Conor McGregor talks trash to Nate Diaz on ‘Conan’

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Real Madrid can’t train at Norwegian school because of the kids

Newspaper uses Michael Jordan ‘crying face’ as image

Equipment manager Blake Griffin punched no longer works for Clippers

Report: Nicks signing one-year deal with Saints

Reds 'picking up the pace' on Jay Bruce trade talks

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker