The 6-10 Hill had 13 points in 25:25 for the Rockets in their 116-112 win over the Knicks. "He's more athletic than any big we have,'' Rick Adelman said. "He plays above people.''
Before the game, Walsh said he drafted Hill because he thought he would be a good NBA player. "I still believe that,'' Walsh said. Still, he reluctantly included Hill in the three-team trade Feb. 18 in which Jared Jeffries and future conditional first-round picks went to Houston for Tracy McGrady and Sergio Rodriguez.
Walsh believed moving Jeffries' $6.8-million contract off the books to create $9.5 million in cap space was more important.
Walsh was criticized for passing on Brandon Jennings to pick Hill eighth overall. Mike D'Antoni was a main supporter of Hill in the draft process but didn't play him much, mainly because several veterans were ahead of him in the frontcourt.
Hill told the Houston Chronicle on Saturday that D'Antoni "relies on veterans more than rookies.'' That comment was relayed to D'Antoni, who said: "I don't like to play bad rookies. I like to play good rookies.''