Cavs’ Hill excused to receive diploma
INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) — George Hill has gone from point guard to point grad in the NBA playoffs.
Cleveland’s starting guard was excused from practice on Saturday to receive his degree from IUPUI. As his Cavaliers teammates got in one last workout before heading to Boston for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals, Hill took part in graduation ceremonies at the school in Indianapolis.
The 32-year-old Hill received his degree from the School of Liberal Arts. He was one of two student speakers to address the new graduates. Hill played for the Jaguars from 2004-08.
Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said Hill would rejoin the team in time for the series opener Sunday against the Celtics.
Hill joined the Cavs in February, coming over in a trade from Sacramento. He was slowed by back spasms and missed three games in the first round of the playoffs against Indiana, but returned and played a key role in the Cavs’ Game 7 win as well as Cleveland’s four-game sweep of Toronto.
Hill, who also played in the postseason for San Antonio and Indiana, has helped settle a troubling position for the Cavs. Cleveland traded All-Star guard Kyrie Irving last summer to Boston and have used numerous point guards this season.
The Cavs struggled without him against the Pacers, but Hill returned for the series finale. Although he was on a minutes’ restriction, he scored 11 points – all in the second half – and helped Cleveland advance.
”He’s been great,” Lue said. ”Just coming into Game 7 versus Indiana where he hadn’t played in 3 plus games, to come out and play the half of basketball that he played, he was tremendous. So, just his experience of being in the playoffs, being in the Eastern Conference finals when he played for Indiana, playing against the Miami teams, he knows what it’s about. So, it’s great having a veteran like that on the team.”