After five seasons with the Indiana Pacers, point guard George Hill was traded to the Utah Jazz and is having a career renaissance.
The deal was a three-team one between the Jazz, Pacers, and Atlanta Hawks, with Hill landing in Utah, Jeff Teague landing in Indiana, and Taurean Prince finding a home in Atlanta. He’s never been the type to put up huge numbers, but when healthy Hill has always been an exceptional role player.
With the Pacers, he was a three-and-D guy, and he filled that niche very nicely. Now in Salt Lake City, the 30-year-old floor general is on pace to have the best season of his career.
He’s seeing a majority of the Jazz’s point guard minutes and Hill’s pouring in 20.4 points per game with astronomical shooting percentages: 54.1/43.2/87.5. He’s still an outstanding defensive guard, and the Jazz are fifth in the NBA in points per game allowed; his defensive efficiency numbers get skewed because Utah plays such a sluggish pace.
Hill’s advanced stats are just as gaudy. His PER is 26.5 and his true shooting percentage–a stat that takes threes, twos, and free throws into account–is 65.9, the fifth-best mark in the league.
The Jazz run a decent amount of pick-and-rolls with Hill as the ball-handler, and he’s effective out of that set because of his well-round scoring ability. With .93 points per possessions, Hill sits in the 75th percentile.
His skill set allows him to score from all three levels of the floor, and the situation dictates how he creates his shot; whether it’s mid-range, in the paint, or from three-point land, his efficiency is consistent:
If there’s a mismatch and Hill’s picked up by a big off the screen, he can blow right past them:
Another thing you’ll notice is how he makes the right play, and the ball doesn’t need to stick with him. Against the Dallas Mavericks recently, there were multiple instances of Hill moving without the ball and getting easy buckets.
The sustainability of this stretch is the biggest concern, but it shouldn’t be for the Jazz organization. Gordon Hayward appeared in his first action this season and dropped 28 against the New York Knicks on Sunday, so now there’s another weapon that’ll draw attention.
If anything, his volume will drop but his percentages will remain the same, and the Jazz will be in great shape as the season progresses.
Start a conversation with me on Twitter