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INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) – George Hill has gone from point guard to point graduate in the NBA playoffs.
Cleveland's start guard missed the practice on Saturday and had a good excuse for his absence – he graduated from college.
Hill received his diploma from IUPUI and participated in initial Indianapolis ceremonies while his teammates entered a final training session before heading to Boston for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final.
32-year-old Hill, who played for the Jaguars from 2004-08, received his degree from the School of Liberal Arts. He was one of two speakers to address the new graduates.
On his Twitter account, Hill showed a "Jaguar" tattoo on his left arm.
Cavs manager Tyronn Lue said Hill would return in time to the team's opener Sunday against the Celtics.
Hill joined the Cavs in February and entered a trade from Sacramento. He was slowed by back-cramps and missed three games in the first round of the playoffs against Indiana, but returned and played a key role in the victory of Cavs in Game 7 and at Cleveland's four-game round in Toronto.
Hill, who also played for San Antonio and Indiana in the postseason, has helped settle a disturbing position for the Cavs. Cleveland traded all-star guard Kyrie Irving to Boston last summer and used numerous point guards this season.
The Cavs fought without him against the Pacers, but Hill returned to the series finale. Although he had a minute limit, he scored eleven points – all in the second half – and helped Cleveland advance.
"He was great," said Lue. "Especially in Game 7 against Indiana, where he had not played in 3 ½ games to come out and play half of the basketball he played, he was enormous – so just to have his experience in the playoffs, in the Eastern Conference Finals, when he played for Indiana and played against the Miami teams, he knows what it's all about, so it's great to have such a veteran in the team. "
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