Veteran guard George Hill has been an absolute spark plug for the Milwaukee Bucks this year, but where does his 2019-20 run rank among the best campaigns of his career?
It goes without saying that George Hill has been a very valuable contributor for the Milwaukee Bucks this 2019-20 season.
Having been a part of some strong, great teams between his stints with the San Antonio Spurs, the Indiana Pacers, Utah Jazz, Cleveland Cavaliers, just to name a few, Hill has long been a reliable, savvy guard for competitive to contending teams across the league.
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We’ve seen just that this season and throughout Hill’s Bucks stint overall, but this year he has brought his high-level shot making to another gear, given he’s averaging 9.6 points per game on a stunning .530/.480/.831 slash line and a 66.8 true shooting percentage.
And Hill’s 3-point percentage still stands as the top mark for all players with the season stopped due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The mixture of sharpshooting, stable decision making and defensive versatility has certainly made Hill an intriguing Sixth Man of the Year candidate, at least in the eyes of Bucks fans.
While Hill has naturally slotted into a backup point guard behind Eric Bledsoe, the bigger question is how does it stack up relative to his 12-year career?
Certainly, the level of incredible efficiency Hill has produced all season long is unmatched compared to his previous seasons, even as he’s flirted with similar sparkling shooting season along his stops. And it’s hard to compare the role that Hill has played for the Bucks versus other stints, given that he was a long-time starter for the Pacers, Jazz, Sacramento Kings and Cavaliers before coming to Milwaukee.
It’s perhaps Hill’s one-year run with the Jazz that might offer the best of both worlds in terms of strong production, efficiency, and starting role, among others.
For those that need the refresher, Hill was absolutely splendid for the Jazz during the 2016-17 season after he came to Salt Lake City via a three-team trade between Utah, the Pacers and the Atlanta Hawks during the summer of 2016.
Averaging a career-high 16.9 points per game on .477/.403/.801 shooting splits, along with 4.2 assists per game and 3.4 rebounds per game, Hill thrived in a more involved role setting up the Jazz’s offense and giving them a dynamic, three-level scorer at the lead guard spot under head coach Quin Snyder,
The only drawback to Hill’s year was his health as a lengthy bout with turf toe limited him to 49 appearances and eight of 11 postseason appearances. While his stay with Jazz was limited to one season, it still provided the runway for Hill to sign a three-year, $57 million deal with the Sacramento Kings in the summer of 2017, which eventually led him to Cleveland and now in Milwaukee via trades.
In many ways, how Hill was utilized during his time in Salt Lake City provided the blueprint for how he has made on his mark on the Bucks, the big difference being it coming from a bench role. That isn’t to say he hasn’t taken on larger ball handling responsibilities before, such as when Hill tried to give 2014-15 Pacers team a driving, difference maker, especially as they were without All-Star forward Paul George due to his horrific leg injury suffered the previous summer.
It’s that tone setting, aggressive scoring style that makes Hill a legitimate factor and contributor during critical moments in a season like we saw during his incredible run of playoff performances with the Bucks last spring.
If not for the season stoppage, Hill was likely on track to deliver a similar string of performances during the Bucks’ playoff run. Hopefully he’ll be able to do so and put a very nice cap on what’s been a sterling season all the way around for the 33-year-old.