There will be many of you who wouldn’t consider George Hill, the player widely dubbed as the future of the Spurs, a sleeper. There will also be many of you who see him behind Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili on the Spurs’ depth chart and understand why he might be a sleeper. Then that first group peeks over the second group’s shoulder and doesn’t feel so confident that the future of the Spurs is now! Then that second group gets a bit cocky that it put in a little more preparation than the first group, while the first group deflates at how they’re always second-guessing themselves. Then, because as we just established is the custom with Group No. 1, they start second-guessing why they disregarded Hill as a sleeper in the first place. Then they remember. Here’s what they remember:
Parker and Ginobili have missed 102-out-of-492 games over the last three seasons – or if you’re Rainman, 20.731707 percent of the possible games over that time. Also, much as it may surprise you, both those guys are a year older than they were one year ago. If you were to wager all the money in your pockets whether one or both of the guards standing in front of Hill were to miss a substantial amount of time this season, would you bet yay or nay? I don’t have any money in my pockets. If I did, would I be here? Why do you think I’m reading about fantasy basketball in August? Because I have tons of things to do today? Cripes. I think I hit a nerve. Just go on and make your point.
My point is that Hill averaged a smidgen more than 29 minutes per game last season, started 43 times and there’s no reason it won’t happen again. Only when it happens this year, Hill will be in his third year instead of his second. Last year, when he was thrust into the starting lineup, his efficiency improved. He went from 11.6 PER to 14.7 PER, he turned the ball over fewer times in more minutes and instead of sinking only 0.3 treys a game, he turned into One Three Hill. Same team, same position, more experience. That trend is still pointing upward in 2011. The kid may have the most boring name in the NBA, but like Megan Fox, don’t let the boring name fool you, it’s worth a good long look.
Season Projections: .465 / .769 / 1 3pt / 15 pts / 3 rbd / 4.5 ast / 1 stl / 0.5 blk / 1.5 tov