After embarrassingly dropping Game 6 by double digits, the Milwaukee Bucks are heading back to TD Garden to face the Boston Celtics in Game 7.
Following six straight games of sheer madness, frustration, and inconsistencies, the Bucks will be put to the test on the road in a hostile environment. While they have what it takes to pull it off, the Bucks will need to make some crucial adjustments for this contest. With all that being said, let us look at three personnel adjustments the Milwaukee Bucks must make in Game 7 on the road.
No. 1 – The Milwaukee Bucks need to bench George Hill for crucial Game 7 versus the Boston Celtics
The Milwaukee Bucks have had a George Hill problem for months now, and it has genuinely hurt them in this second round series.
Since returning from injury in Game 3, Hill has averaged 1.3 points, one rebound, and 0.8 assists in 16.3 minutes per game. Given how prominent of a role he has played, this production, if one could even call it that, has been nothing short of inexcusable from Hill. The guard has been a non-factor on the offensive end, only attempting five shots and two 3-pointers in these four games. Playing Hill continues to only hurt the team, and after Friday’s loss, the veteran is now a -23 in the series in 65 minutes played, according to NBA.com/stats. Hill has given the Bucks nothing in this series, but Mike Budenholzer continues to roll with him, which has been puzzling.
In Game 7, the Bucks need to keep Hill on the sidelines. Among the many reasons why they have struggled in this series is the inability to get contributions from the supporting cast, and Hill is not going to suddenly flip the switch in Game 7. Budenholzer stated that Hill is there for his defense, but even that is laughable. The guard has given the Bucks next to nothing in all facets of the game this series, and they cannot afford to have him play significant time in their most important game of the season on the road. Despite Budenholzer’s persistence in playing a 36-year-old George Hill for considerable minutes, he needs to finally make the decision to sit him down.
The most frustrating part about the Hill situation is that the Bucks have a clearly superior option rotting on the bench in Jevon Carter. This issue has been looming for months as Carter proved to be a pleasant surprise when the Bucks brought him aboard due to an injury to Hill. Yet, despite a homerun mid-season signing by general manager Jon Horst, Budenholzer has stuck with Hill like he does not have any other options. Sure, Carter is several inches shorter than Hill, which could put him at a disadvantage defensively against Boston’s taller players, but his defense is still far more reputable than Hill’s. Also, Carter is a far better player offensively, and though he may not check in and score 10 or 15, he can undoubtedly do more to help than Hill on that end. In fact, he outscored Hill in Game 5 despite playing around 18 minutes less.
Any minutes that Budenholzer has planned for Hill in Game 7 need to go to Carter.