Could George Hill bounce back for the Milwaukee Bucks in 2022-23?

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE - MARCH 26 (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE - MARCH 26 (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) /

The 2021-22 NBA season was certainly one to forget for George Hill in his surprising return to the Milwaukee Bucks.

Hill put up some of the worst numbers of his ongoing 14-year career last season, having struggled to contribute consistently. It did not help that the point guard endured his share of injuries over the course of the year, primarily having dealt with both abdominal and neck issues, which hindered his availability and overall productivity when he was fortunate enough to be on the floor. This was especially true in the Bucks’ second round playoff series against the Boston Celtics, where Hill returned after he missed nearly a month due to injuries. Hill looked like a liability in that series from start to finish as he failed to make much of an impact whatsoever in his 76 total minutes.

Despite Hill’s tough regular season and abysmal playoff showing, it does not appear that the team is looking to move him this offseason, much to the dismay of the fanbase. With each passing day, it is more likely that Hill starts the year with the Bucks, and fans will have to brace for that reality in the coming months. If Hill does indeed find himself on Milwaukee’s opening night roster, is there a chance he could have a bounce-back year in 2022-23? While most will scoff at the idea, there is a glimmer of hope that the veteran guard could genuinely turn the tide completely next season for a handful of reasons.

Could George Hill bounce back for the Milwaukee Bucks in 2022-23?

First and foremost, George Hill’s ability to bounce back next season will largely hinge on his health. Hill missed 35 games last season due to his various injuries, and when he was on the floor, he was often playing through them. At 36 years old, Hill’s legs have plenty of miles on them from years of professional basketball, and his durability is not what it once was. However, hopefully he has done what it takes to get his body right and tend to those neck and abdomen issues over these last few months. If Hill has indeed taken advantage of the offseason and gotten healthier, that is already a positive sign with next season slowly creeping up on the horizon.

Although it may help, simply being healthy does not guarantee that Hill will bounce back with the Milwaukee Bucks next season. To do so, one area that the veteran will have to improve upon is his 3-point shooting. Last season, the veteran shot a grueling 30.6 percent from deep, which was the least-efficient percentage in his career by far. One could say that last year was an outlier, as Hill is known to be a solid marksman, having shot a respectable 38 percent from long range in his career. A significant step to help Hill bounce back next season will be regaining his credibility as a reliable threat from deep after he could not throw a rock in the ocean for most of last season. As always, the looks will be there for Hill, but it will be up to him to knock them down with some consistency.

In addition to perimeter shooting, defense is another area that will be pivotal for Hill’s resurgence. Standing at 6-foot-4, the veteran has the length to defend taller guards, which can be useful for a Milwaukee team that relies so heavily on defense. However, Hill was far from outstanding on that side of the basketball last year, and he will have to improve upon that. Defense has been a strong part of Hill’s game in the past, with some even highlighting how it is an underrated part of what he brings to the table, but it was clear that he had lost a step in that regard last season. While Hill never has or never will be in the conversation for All-Defensive honors, he can be serviceable on that side of the basketball, and if he can regain that touch when he takes the floor with the Bucks next season, it would help his efforts to bounce back strong.

Ultimately, the question at hand is whether or not the 2021-22 season was a outlier year for Hill or if age has caught up to him. Injuries certainly took a toll on the veteran, especially late in the season, but that may not have been the sole reason for Hill’s struggles last season. Only time will tell how things shake out for Hill if he is on Milwaukee’s opening night roster next season, but the guard will undoubtedly have to win back the fanbase if he starts next season as a Buck. On paper, Hill has the potential to be a quality contributor by giving the Bucks another reliable ball-handler off the bench that can space the floor and play strong defense, but he will have to bounce back from an abysmal showing last season to regain that stature.

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Stay tuned to see how things transpire for George Hill and the Milwaukee Bucks in 2022-23.