Hill questionable for Cavs in game 5
INDEPENDENCE — Cavaliers point guard George Hill is questionable for tonight’s crucial Game 5 against Indiana because of back spasms.
Hill has been dealing with back problems since the series opener, when he was flattened by an illegal screen by Pacers forward Trevor Booker.
Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue says Hill was limited to shooting drills during Tuesday’s practice and will start if he can play.
Jose Calderon started Game 4 at Indianapolis and scored five points in 19 minutes as the Cavaliers evened the series at 2-2. Cleveland is 24-9 when Calderon starts.
Hill is averaging 8.7 points and 1.7 assists in his first postseason with Cleveland, which acquired him at the trade deadline in February. He started 24 games during the season.
This first round hasn’t been the norm for three-time champion LeBron James.
While he’s 12-0 in the opening round, before the Cavs dropped Game 1 to the Pacers at home, James had never lost a playoff opener. In fact, James came in with a 21-game winning streak in first-round games and this will be his first Game 5 in Round 1 since 2012 when he was with Miami.
Cleveland’s 104-100 win in Game 4 brought relief to Cavs fans and James, who had been getting little offensive help from his teammates. A dependable No. 2 scoring option has been issue all season, primarily because Kyle Irving is no longer around to take pressure off James.
But in Game 4 , Kyle Korver stepped up in the second half and knocked down four 3-pointers and the Cavs buckled down defensively in the closing minutes to avoid a 3-1 hole.
“We all know the narrative around us, it is what it is,” Korver said after practice on Tuesday. “It’s Bron and we’re all trying to make it work for him.”
James has been his usual self, averaging 32.5 points, 11 rebounds and 8 assists in the series. But only Kevin Love (12.0), who has been slowed by a sprained left thumb, and J.R. Smith (10.0) are averaging double-digits for Cleveland.