3 takeaways from Milwaukee Bucks’ quality win over Memphis Grizzlies

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 19 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 19 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: George Hill, Memphis Grizzlies: Brandon Clarke
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – JANUARY 19 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /

After going a measly 3-6 throughout their first nine games of 2022, the Milwaukee Bucks needed a win against the visiting Memphis Grizzlies last night to get back on the right track. The Grizzlies have been as hot as any team in the NBA lately, and although they would be missing a handful of players due to health and safety protocols, this young squad would put the defending champs to the test as they aimed to get back to their winning ways.

Aside from the fact that they surrendered 40 points in another dreaded third quarter, this was an all-around solid game for the Bucks. Following a back and forth first quarter, they extended their lead beyond double digits for a good portion of the contest, though the Grizzlies did make a push late to cut it to three points. Given how many double-figure leads the Bucks have coughed up in this recent stretch, fans were worried at that point, but the champs thankfully closed this one out to notch a 126-114 victory.

With that said, let us dive in and look closer at a few takeaways from the game.

George Hill came to life and clocked in his best performance of the season for the Milwaukee Bucks

Plenty of Bucks fans, myself included, have criticized George Hill for most of the season due to his subpar play in his return to Milwaukee. The point guard has not lived up to expectations as he has averaged some of the lowest numbers in his career, but perhaps last night’s performance could be the perfect boost he needed to turn things around.

Getting the nod in the starting five, Hill was fantastic throughout this one. Offensively, he showed off his aggressiveness all night by scoring 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting, including a stellar 2-of-4 from behind the arc. Scoring and shooting have been among his biggest weaknesses this season, so it was extremely welcoming to see him do both at a high level. When Hill was not scoring, the floor general was getting his teammates involved as he handed out a season-high six assists.

While his point and assist totals will garner the most attention, Hill’s overall hustle in this one was also worth noting. The 35-year-old guard looked rejuvenated all night long, skying high for boards, playing aggressive defense, and just getting involved whenever he could. As coach Budenholzer put it after the game, “I thought George made a bunch of winning plays.” While single-game +/- can be a flawed stat, Hill did finish the game with a team-high +16, showing that he did indeed make some winning plays.

It is refreshing to see Hill finally contribute to the level that he did. Hopefully, this performance can help him flip that switch and find a steady momentum as the season progresses. While the Bucks will not ask him to score 14 points or dish out six assists every game, solid scoring, shooting, and facilitating from the veteran would be a tremendous boost.