Los Angeles Lakers power forward Jordan Hill, who was activated during Game 1 against the San Antonio Spurs, was cleared to play for Wednesday night’s Game 2. Hill underwent season-ending hip surgery at the end of January, but he has worked hard on his recovery and was well ahead of schedule.
He took part in contact five-on-five practice on Friday and played full court on Saturday. After going through another couple of practice sessions on Monday and Tuesday without incident, the coaching staff has cleared Hill to play for Wednesday.
Hill will likely not play extensive minutes, but he can be a valuable contributor off the bench should Dwight Howard get into foul trouble. The 6’ 10” forward specializes in rebounding, and his energy on the offensive and defensive glass would be a welcomed presence should Howard fall into trouble with the officials.
The majority of Hill’s minutes were passed on to Earl Clark, but Clark has struggled offensively as of late. Clark is more athletic than Hill, but Hill offers more of a physical presence under the basket, which complements Pau Gasol’s long and, um, soft game.
Whether or not Hill plays is entirely up to Mike D’Antoni at this point. With Hill back and Jodie Meeks expected to play through a sprained ankle, the Lakers have a full squad available minus Kobe Bryant (torn Achilles).
Ironically, the Los Angeles Lakers regular season was best described as Kobe Bryant minus a full squad.