The San Antonio Spurs are currently 14-2, are on top of the NBA standings, playing well, winning ball games they supposed to win, and shown veteran poise, executing and closing out games down the stretch.
Despite the team’s hot-start however, Spurs third year guard George Hill seems to struggle with his new role. Last season, Hill started in 43 games and played the best basketball of his young NBA career. He averaged 12.4 points, 2.9 assists, 2.6 rebounds while shooting 47.8% from the field in 78 games and finished second in the Most Improved Player Award, behind Houston Rockets’ Aaron Brooks.
This year, after 16 games Hill is averaging 9.9 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.1 steals on 45.3% field goal shooting in 26.1 minutes per game. It’s noticeable his numbers are down in the young season as compared to last year.
Earlier this season, Hill went scoreless in 21 minutes against the Charlotte Bobcats going 0-4 from the field. He had a bounce back game of sorts against the Philadelphia 76ers, and scored 16 points on 5-8 shooting from the field, including 1-1 from beyond the arc but then he followed it up with 1-10 clank-fest in a Spurs’ win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
However, little by little, Hill appears to be back on his groove, looking more comfortable on the floor and his off the bench role. During the last five games, he is averaging 13.0 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists on 53.4% shooting from the field, including 100% from the foul line.
In Spurs’ overtime victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves, Hill provided a spark off the bench, scored 12 points, grabbed five rebounds and helped the Spurs trim down a 21 point deficit.
Even in their defeat against the Dallas Mavericks, Hill reminded everyone how important he is for the Spurs. With Tony Parker struggling with his shots, Hill played his best performance of the season. He scored 21 points, grabbed three boards, had three steals and did not commit a single turnover in 33 minutes of action.
And in the team’s latest victory, he scored 14 points (12 in the second half), dished out four assists and grabbed three boards to help the Spurs overcome a 17 point third quarter deficit.
Hill is getting his confidence back and that is great news for the Spurs. If he gets back to the same level as he was a year ago, there is no doubt that the Spurs are going to be a better team as the season goes on.
And just when people think Hill could be on a down year, he shows up again as if saying, don’t count out George just yet.