Milwaukee Bucks: George Hill’s shooting could be key upon return

BROOKLYN, NY - JANUARY 18: (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
BROOKLYN, NY - JANUARY 18: (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Having led the NBA in 3-point percentage this year, how George Hill’s shot holds up when the NBA returns will be crucial for the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Milwaukee Bucks learned the importance of knocking down shots in last year’s playoffs, finding themselves on the wrong end of Fred VanVleet’s shooting run of a lifetime at a time when getting anything to fall seemed increasingly difficult for Mike Budenholzer’s team.

Quite simply, regardless of how good a team is over the course of a year, at the top level with the stakes at their very highest, the make or miss element of the game can be greatly increased as the margins grow finer.

More from Bucks News

On that front, with the NBA season likely to resume in Orlando over the next couple of months, this year’s postseason won’t provide players the usual opportunity to come into the playoffs in a groove, having found their rhythm, and attempted to peak at the crucial moment of the season.

In its own right that could create an extra element of variance. Perhaps some of the league’s better teams will come back struggling to click into gear, while others will establish a rhythm much sooner.

Considering how it could affect the Bucks on an individual level, though, the ability of certain players to deliver their usual shooting prowess will be vital.

That certainly applies to Khris Middleton, who was so close to 50-40-90 pace just before the season ground to a halt, and it could also be said of legendary sharpshooter Kyle Korver, who was signed purely to capitalize on the quality catch-and-shoot looks that would come his way. But the importance of George Hill in this conversation certainly can’t be overlooked either.

George Hill has been one of the Milwaukee Bucks’ most consistent all-around performers this season, and is enjoying a career shooting year.

Hill has been a key component of so much that the Bucks have done well this year, and one of the team’s most important improvements from last season may well come down to his phenomenal jump in terms of 3-point percentage.

Having struggled to knock down the long ball after being traded to Milwaukee last season, making just 28 percent of his regular season triple attempts, the 34-year-old has bounced back to lead the entire NBA at 48 percent in this campaign.

With Giannis Antetokounmpo’s skill-set making floor spacing even more important and valuable in Milwaukee, to say Hill’s excellence in that regard has been a welcome boost would be a colossal understatement.

Crucially, with Eric Bledsoe’s habit of struggling in the postseason, Hill’s ability to find some kind of form again as the Bucks rapidly pivot to playoff action may be a vital element in their title pursuit.

It seems like an incredible ask for Hill to simply pick up where he left off after such a long time on the sidelines, but the Bucks may need him to at least offer something close to that.

For Hill, the rest of the Bucks, and players around the NBA, just how the NBA decides to restart may prove very significant. The questions of how long will be allowed for a training camp of sorts, how many scrimmage games there will be, and how many regular season contests will be played before the playoffs get underway all currently remain unanswered. But they could play a part in determining who eventually ends up crowned as champion.

Building an all-time team around Giannis Antetokounmpo. dark. Next

The Bucks have every reason to believe in their ability and their system based on how the season has played out, but they’ll also need a bit of good fortune in terms of Hill, and the rest of their players, finding something close to the form that contributed to their relentless winning before the pandemic hit.