Malcolm Hill was at the center of the Hapoel Jerusalem offense once again in the Reds 94-66 win over Hapoel Beer Sheva. The small forwardת who starred last Friday in the club’s win over Maccabi Haifa with 23 points and 9 rebounds is looking mighty fine once again scoring 12 points going a perfect 4/4 from 3-point land.
But it wasn’t only the scoring that Hill was a part of it was also running the offense at times for Dainius Adomaitis’s squad, while also bringing the ball up the court and just being much more involved than when he was playing under Oded Katash. Now that’s not a knock on Katash because Hill had been injured early on with a broken hand and surgery and only came back for the two Champions League games in Bosnia at Igokea. But now it’s clear that Adomatis is trying to get the maximum our of the Illinois product and that maximum so far has been mighty fine.
“I think he is a very talented player and a very good guy that needs much more experience at this level,” explained Adomaitis. “He’s doing really good with his effort and he’s a really talented guy. Most importantly he wants to improve. In every practice and every game he listens to his teammates and what his coaches are saying. I think that he can be better day by day.”
Hill himself spoke about the fact that he is putting in the time to continue to improve, “I’m just a product of hard work. What I’ve been doing is staying consistent ever since I’ve gotten hurt I’ve always made sure to get extra reps up. That’s really all it is and the trust my teammates have in me. They told me to be aggressive and find other ways to be effective on the court. I didn’t really think about my shooting it’s pretty natural. I keep looking to play well.”
One of his teammates, Adam Ariel who had a terrific shooting night with 15 points going 5/6 from deep also sees how hard Hill has been trying to get back to where the expectations had been when he came on board, “Malcolm just simply put continues to work hard and he wants to learn every day. Everyone knows that he has a lot of ability and that he just has to get it going which it is. I’m happy for him as well as for the team that he is playing well and I hope that it will continue.”
With the coaching change, Hill now has a clean slate with Adomaitis which is probably the bets situation that everyone could have asked for. It’s not that Katash would have not played Hill or rely on him going forward, but let’s be honest, you know what they say about first impressions? You only have one chance to make a good first impression and perhaps he wouldn’t have been able to ever flourish under Katash the way he is now under Adomaiatis.
“He’s a different type of coach with a different style,” expressed Hill. “Oded is more laid back and Adomaitis is kind of fiery. I think it can bring a good, different element to the team. Just making sure we stay and play hard. Even when we were up big he said to stay and play hard, plus we are still learning how he likes things. This was a good stepping stone to us getting better with him.”
Speaking of “fiery” we saw that on full display from Adomaitis during the game when he shall we say had choice words for big man Idan Zalmanson that left the Reds center infuriated as he screamed and then needed to walk around behind the basket to blow off some steam. He then stewed on bench before being out back in and let out his pent up emotions on the court against an overwhelmed Beer Sheva.
“I like the emotions and sports are a game of emotions,” stated Admomaitis following the game. “You have to play with emotions. If everyone plays silent with no emotions no one will come and watch. Zalmanson came to the lockerroom and said sorry.” With that the two sides put the small incident behind them and moved on.
Hill has oodles of potential that is waiting to come out and it looks like Adomaitis is the right person to be able to tap into that bottled up potential if these two past games are any indication. It will be interesting to see how Jerusalem evolves over the next month and Hill will be a central part of that with the way he has been not only playing but as well as what he feels will be the key to the club’s success.
“Honestly just the mindset that needs to be had is a soldier mindset. Understanding that you just have to be your very best no matter what the situation. Whatever he asks you go out and do it to the best of your ability. That’s the soldier like mindset. Me personally and everyone on team I’m sure took that mindset to.”