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Grant Hill game-time decision vs. Dallas

January 08, 2013|By Melissa Rohlin
  • Grant Hill participated in his first full practice of the season on Tuesday and will be a game-time decision for the Clippers on Wednesday when the team faces the Dallas Mavericks.
Grant Hill participated in his first full practice of the season on Tuesday… (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles…)

Grant Hill, who has been sidelined the entire Clippers season with a bone bruise in his right knee, participated in his first full practice Tuesday.

"To be able to actually put my jersey on and go out there and mix it up a little bit has been fun, although I'm still working off the rust," Hill said. "That'll take some time."

Hill, 40, participated in a light practice Monday, but Tuesday's practice involved more running and was more strenuous.

"Today we went up and down, we did some scrimmaging, we did some sort of game-like scenarios in practice, which the guys on the team might not of liked,  but I certainly liked it," Hill said. 

Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro said that the team will evaluate Hill at Wednesday's shoot-around to determine whether he'll be able to play that evening against Dallas.

"We'll just see how he feels tomorrow and then we'll make a decision," Del Negro said. 

Del Negro said that he expects the seven-time All-Star to make a big impact on the Clippers, who have the best record in the NBA at 27-8.

"He gives us more depth; he gives us more experience," Del Negro said. "Defensively, he's very difficult in terms of his versatility. He's very good in the open court; he can handle the ball. Grant is a top-level player when he's healthy."

Hill, who participated in two preseason games but has not played since Oct. 15, said that it has been difficult watching the team from the bench.

"Yeah, it has been driving me crazy," he said. "But the good thing is that we've been playing great. Even more important than that, we've got a bunch of really good guys, and I think they've made me and Chauncey [Billups] still feel like we're part of things. That makes it easier but, nevertheless, it's still no fun not being able to play."

Hill said that there's a chance that he may rest against Dallas and make an appearance Saturday against Orlando.

"The knees feel good. ... It's a matter of getting your legs underneath you," Hill said. 

When asked why Hill, a 17-year veteran, keeps returning to the court and enduring painful injuries after he's accomplished so much in his career, Hill didn't hesitate.

"A chance to win a championship," he said.

"You don't always have these opportunities.... To have a team that has this kind of talent, this kind of depth, this kind of character, I've never been in a situation like this. Once you're done playing, there's no looking back. You want to give it all you can while you are playing."

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