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George Hill is a major X-Factor to watch for the Bucks in season opener vs. Rockets

George Hill, Bucks, Rockets

George Hill of the Milwaukee Bucks, who will face the Houston Rockets Thursday night, had seemingly entered the “journeyman” stage of his career prior to the 2018-19 NBA season.

Hill had been traded from the Sacramento Kings to the Cleveland Cavaliers in February of 2018 in the hopes that he could give LeBron James some added production and help the Cavs return to the NBA Finals.

Cleveland would indeed reach the Finals, but they lost to the Golden State Warriors and James left town to join the Los Angeles Lakers. Suddenly, the Cavaliers were in rebuild mode, and Hill was expendable.

However, it would not be long before Hill rejoined a contender.

Hill was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks last December, and he played so well during the 2019 playoffs that the Bucks felt comfortable allowing former Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon to sign with the Indiana Pacers as a restricted free agent.

The Bucks are placing a lot of faith in Hill ahead of the 2019-20 season, one in which they are widely expected to win the Eastern Conference. As such, he is someone to keep an eye on ahead of the team’s opener against the Houston Rockets on Thursday night?

What is Hill’s role?

This question is tough to answer. Eric Bledsoe is the Milwaukee’s point guard, and the Bucks signed veteran shooter Wesley Matthews to start at shooting guard.

Hill is slated to be the backup point guard, but he should see a lot of run with the starting unit. Bledsoe is better in short bursts, and Matthews is a defensive liability. Alternatively, Hill is a long and versatile defender that can get into the paint and spot up on the perimeter.

Likewise, Hill is invaluable as a secondary ball handler that can take some of the pressure of off both Bledsoe and Giannis Antentokounmpo. The Bucks will have plenty of opportunities to play “big” and “small” lineups, and Hill fits in well with a variety of personnel.

Is he a knockdown shooter?

George Hill is a career 37.8 percent shooter from beyond the arc, which is very respectable. However, he averaged just 2.7 three-point attempts with the Bucks last season and converted at a measly 28 percent clip.

The Raptors exposed the Bucks by packing the paint against Antentokounmpo and forcing the Bucks to make perimeter jumpers. Outside of Matthews and Kyle Korver, the Bucks did not add much shooting.

Hill is going to have to step up as a dependable perimeter threat. He shot better than 40 percent from beyond the arc in three consecutive seasons between 2015 and 2018, so he is very capable of making the open shot.

Especially if George Hill can develop into a lethal perimeter threat, he will open up the lane both for himself and for his teammates, which is where he really excels as a playmaker and rebounder.

The post George Hill is a major X-Factor to watch for the Bucks in season opener vs. Rockets appeared first on ClutchPoints.

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