Where would the Lakers be this season without the surprise emergence of Jordan Hill?
"This guy is playing at an All-Star level," said Coach Mike D'Antoni after practice Tuesday. "What's he's doing is remarkable. There's no reason he can't keep that up."
For the season, Hill is averaging 10.4 points and 8.4 rebounds in just 20.9 minutes a game.
In four games since his promotion to starter, Hill has contributed 18.8 points and 12.0 rebounds in just under 31 minutes a night.
Hill's 2012-13 season was truncated by a hip injury. He played in just 29 games, but his averages of 6.7 points and 5.7 rebounds were career bests.
"Normally an energy guy, you're saying he's only getting six points but he adds energy," D'Antoni said.
Hill used to be the Lakers' energy guy. Now he's a major reason why the team has won five of its first 12 games, despite playing without Kobe Bryant (Achilles' tendon).
The Lakers have three players on the NBA All-Star ballot -- Bryant, Steve Nash and Pau Gasol -- but not Hill.
Hill would have to win an unlikely write-in vote to be named a starter, or he could be selected by the league's coaches to be a reserve.
"I mean, I definitely wouldn't mind that," Hill said. "I'm just having fun. I'm just going out there and getting more confident every time I'm on the floor."
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