INDIANAPOLIS - Even though his Pacers experience his small, his playoff's knowledge is much different.
"It's just another game when you look at it," said Hill. "Yes its a closeout game, but its Game 5, its just a regular game. Just do the same thing you've been doing."
That might be some good advice for many of the Pacers who've yet to experience such a situation as they head into their contest against the Magic on Tuesday night. In this Game 5 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, the Pacers have their first chance to closeout a series since 2005.
As the sixth seed that season the Pacers twice had a chance to close out Boston in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. Up 3-2 the Pacers lost Game 6 at home in overtime but rallied back to crush the Celtics on the road in Game 7 by 27 points to put them into the second round against Detroit.
"I think Frank (Vogel) put it best and said 'We have to approach it like a Game 7,'" said forward Danny Granger, who'll play in his first closeout game of his career. "We have to come out like everything is on the line if we lose this game."
Of course that isn't literally true since the Pacers hold a two-game cushion in the series and would have a pair of chances to win again should they fail on Tuesday night. But with the rare opportunity in front of them and the prospect of a weary Magic team being on the figuartive ropes after a long season, the desire is to finish the series off as quickly as possible.
"Carpe Diem-the future is unforseen," said Vogel of the chance to finish the series now. "You have no idea what could happen in a Game 6 or a Game 7. You've got to approach Game 5 like its Game 7, like its a must win for us."
Maybe the franchise as a whole if looked at from a more global perspective considering the extensive rebuilding project that has taken place over the past decade. Off the court problems forced the dismantling of a team that was in the hunt for an NBA title in the mid-2000s and a five year absence from the postseason.
While making the playoffs two years in a row shows steps towards improvement a playoff series win would give justification for the year spent retooling the Pacers' team.
"It started three or four years ago, we said we were going to chance the culture and that's what we did, got good guys in here and got guys who are workers who are willing to do the necessary things to get better," said team president Larry Bird of the rebuilding process. "Its been great. Winning 42 games this year, I didn't expect that, and playing as well as they are now and giving it all they've got.
"I look for big things."
When tipoff comes on Tuesday night, the rest of the team will too.
"We've got to be able to close these games out," said guard Darren Collison of Game 5. "The season is going to get a lot tougher on us and we've got to be able to close this one out."