Milwaukee Bucks: George Hill’s improvement on offense deserves praise

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MARCH 02: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - MARCH 02: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

George Hill provided a crucial spark off of the bench for the Milwaukee Bucks this season as the guard showcased some much-improved offense.

After being traded to the Milwaukee Bucks midway through last season, George Hill staffed the second unit effectively in 47 games with the team. A known starter for most of his career, Hill thrived in the Sixth Man role, even if his numbers were not the most eye-catching compared to previous seasons.

In 2018-19, Hill averaged 6.8 points on 42.8 percent field goal shooting and a lackluster 28.0 percent from 3-point territory. The guard also hauled in 2.6 rebounds and dished out 2.1 assists per game. Hill was a serviceable backup to Eric Bledsoe, and the Bucks rewarded him with a 3-year, $29 million extension in free agency, particularly after a strong burst of playoff play.

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Although some were initially skeptical of paying Hill, he silenced any doubt that he was not deserving with some stellar play this season. In 52 games this season, the 34-year-old has averaged 9.6 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game, and made a notable impact on the court.

Hill leads the league in 3-point percentage with an astounding 48.0 percent, far better than his uncharacteristic 28.0 percent last season. That dynamic 3-point shooting certainly elevated Hill’s field goal percentage as well, as his season halted with him shooting a career-best 53.0 percent.

The guard was a renowned offensive threat with the ball in his hands, and certainly helped Milwaukee’s sixth-ranked offensive rating.

Hill’s stellar season earned him some recognition in ESPN’s forecast panel’s early picks and predictions for the end of the season awards. He was by no means the frontrunner for the Sixth Man of the Year honors, but Hill received three percent of the who should win vote, having made an impression on voters.

George Hill was fantastic for the league-best Milwaukee Bucks all season long, and the team will need him to carry over that success soon.

Although Hill is not the most dynamic Sixth Man, his veteran presence and the much-improved offense made him a crucial member of the Bucks this season. Having him come off the bench behind Bledsoe allowed the Bucks to have a solidified floor general on the court at all times, something that not many other teams have.

Given Bledsoe’s postseason woes over the past few years, Hill also provides the team with a reliable option to defer to if that were to happen again this season. Hill outperformed him in last year’s Eastern Conference Finals and could make an even more significant impact with his much-improved offense this season. Only time will tell what happens there, but either way, the Bucks should be in good hands.

Overall, George Hill’s vast improvements, particularly on offense from year one with the Bucks to year two, should not go unnoticed. The veteran guard was undoubtedly a significant contributor to the Milwaukee Bucks’ overall success and will hopefully continue to do so when the NBA resumes next month in Orlando.

In Mike Budenholzer’s 3-point dominant offense, it will likely not take long for Hill to regain his shot, even after such a long hiatus. If he can continue his lethal 3-point shooting right out of the gate next month, it would be a significant plus for the Bucks as they chase the title.

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With their championship aspirations the most realistic they have been in recent memory, the Milwaukee Bucks will need this team firing on all cylinders. Hill provided a considerable contribution to the Bucks’ success all season long, and it will need to be no different when play resumes.