Milwaukee Bucks: George Hill’s blistering 3-point shooting trending downwards

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - FEBRUARY 28: (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - FEBRUARY 28: (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Since returning from his hamstring injury following the All-Star break, Milwaukee Bucks Sixth Man of the Year candidate, George Hill, has seen his sparkling efficiency start to fade back down to earth.

There’s been nothing usual about the ultra-efficient season that veteran Milwaukee Bucks guard George Hill has had this season.

The 33-year-old’s play and shooting efficiency have been soaring out of this world throughout the year and spiked all the way in a positive sense after struggling to iron out his shooting stroke up until the postseason last year during his first season in Milwaukee.

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Hill’s 48.7 3-point percentage for the season has long made him the runaway favorite to finish with the highest mark in that department and that’s been made easier with New Orleans sharpshooter J.J Redick, who has the second-highest percentage at 45.2 percent, recently suffering a hamstring strain.

Not only is Hill on track to be the leader for the season, but the Indiana native’s 3-point efficiency all across the board has been truly remarkable, even on a modest volume in today’s age.

As of this writing, Hill has the 13th-highest 3-point efficiency from a player in a single season, per Basketball-Reference.com. And he’s been able to do so hitting 50.6 percent of his 81 catch-and-shoot 3-point attempts and has hit 29 of his 59 3-point attempts off the dribble, per NBA.com/stats.

That’s nothing short of remarkable for the consummate role player, and the Sixth Man role that Hill has essentially played for this Bucks team over the last year-plus.

But now having returned to action after missing seven games before the All-Star break with a left hamstring strain, we’re seeing the start of Hill’s extraordinary shooting season gradually come back down to earth.

As the Bucks have gone 6-1 since picking things back up from the break, Hill has gone 6-of-19 from long range, down to 31.6 percent. That comes after Hill posted a 44.8 percent clip for the month of January in the lead up to his injury absence after hitting well over 50 percent for both November and December.

Of course, it was unrealistic to expect the numbers Hill was posting that were truly out of this stratosphere to continue at that same rate throughout the entire season. But as Bucks fans have all waited for Hill’s inevitable regression, it seems like we’ve reached the point where the other shoe has finally dropped.

Thankfully, other Bucks veteran contributors such as Kyle Korver, Khris Middleton, and so on have picked up the slack as Hill’s long distance shooting has dropped off just a little. And since the turn of the new year, the Bucks have stood where they have largely been throughout the entire season as they rank 18th in team 3-point percentage (35.5 percent) from that date.

The timing of Hill’s shooting regression may unsettle some Bucks fans as the start of their playoff run inches closer in several weeks. And it was the Bucks’ team-wide shooting struggles from downtown that led to their precipitous downfall in the Eastern Conference Finals last year against the Toronto Raptors.

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Whether this proves to be a blip or a more ominous stretch to come remains to be seen, but there’s still more than enough time for Hill to work through any shooting downturn we’re seeing from him from 3-point range at the moment.