George Hill, Sam Dekker remain out
Speaking to reporters prior to Wednesday’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James’ first game back in The Land since leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers in July, Cavs head coach Larry Drew announced that veteran point guard George Hill and forward Sam Dekker will be out for the exhibition. However, per Drew, Hill participated in 3-on-3 during Wednesday’s shootaround and there’s optimism that he’ll be ready to return to the lineup soon.
No George Hill or Sam Dekker tonight. Hill participated in 3-on-3 at shootaround today and Drew thinks he's getting closer. #Cavs
— Spencer Davies (@SpinDavies) November 21, 2018
When Hill returns to the lineup, there’s a solid chance that rookie Collin Sexton will remain in his starting role. Sexton has been averaging 18.6 points and 2.8 assists per game on 50.0 percent shooting from the field and 69.2 percent shooting from three-point range since becoming a starter and Drew has already considered making him the full-time starter because of how he’s improved his play in recent weeks.
However, Hill’s presence will inevitably bolster the team’s offense, with him averaging 12.6 points and 3.0 assists per game on 55.6 percent from the field, 48.0 percent from three-point range and 87.5 percent from the free-throw line.
With two-way signing Andrew Harrison in the team’s second unit, the bench has looked largely ineffective despite having wing talents like Jordan Clarkson (averaging 15.4 points on 46.8 percent shooting from the field) on the floor.
Dekker’s return will also be a welcome sight for the Cavs. The versatile forward was averaging 6.3 points and 3.7 rebounds per game while shooting 45.8 percent from the field and 38.5 percent from three-point range. With J.R. Smith effectively off the team, Dekker will become the team’s small-ball four for the second unit; a move that’ll take away a shooter but add more intelligent play.