George Hill was associated with Indiana in ways that few players are when their name isn’t Paul George or Reggie Miller. The point guard is from Indianapolis and was touted as a home town player that symbolized everything the franchise was seemingly shooting for in a player.
Then, after an early playoff flame-out, the 30-year-old point guard was sent west to the Utah Jazz. This isn’t his first stint in the Western Conference. He made a name for himself as a member of Gregg Popovich’s Spurs units early in his career.
When speaking to the Salt Lake Tribune about his new role, Hill reflected on how he would like to help the Jazz return to form.
He said in reference to Utah: “They always made the playoffs, but in the past few years they’ve been in a rebuilding phase. All of my focus is on doing my best to help the Jazz get back into the playoffs, that’s all that matters to me now.”
The former Jaguar has always been motivated by ultimate team success. He was such a stable player that Popovich famously hesitated to send him to Indiana in the first place because of his regard for the point guard.
The Salt Lake City club will need his steady shooting and ability to direct traffic if they wish to re-enter the playoff picture in the west. The member of multiple Eastern Conference Finals squads will have the most NBA Playoff experience on the entire roster.
Some players wouldn’t want to play in Utah because it lacks the big city climate of a Los Angeles or New York City, but Hill has made it clear that he values winning over all else.
If the team shares his focus over the course of this new season, then the Jazz will be back in the playoffs come spring.