Former Cavs Hill, Korver Haven't Missed a Beat with Bucks

Sam Amico

CLEVELAND -- George Hill is averaging 9.2 points and 3.1 assists in 16 games.

Kyle Korver is at 5.9 points and shooting 39 percent on 3-pointers in 15 games.

The former members of the Cavaliers are still contributing and back on top of the Eastern Conference with the Milwaukee Bucks.

Hill is expected to play with a minor back issue when the Bucks visit the Cavs on Friday (7:30 p.m., FOX Sports Ohio). Korver will miss the game with elbow pain. Neither injury is considered serious.

But Hill and Korver have been important players when healthy.

You may remember both men as key pieces during the Cavs' run to the Finals in 2018, their last LeBron James-led run through the East.

Neither was a fit after James left in free agency, as injuries and other circumstances led Cavs general manager Koby Altman to begin a rebuild.

Lets start with Hill, age 33.

For the past three or four years, he has hovered between starting point guard and reserve combo guard in effectiveness. That has been his role with the Bucks (15-3), and he has played it to near perfection.

Hill has stepped in and stepped up when the Bucks have needed someone in the backcourt. He has been an excellent complement to reigning MVP Giannis Antekounmpo, Khris Middleton and the rest.

He was traded from the Cavs to the Bucks last December for point guard Matthew Dellavedova and power forward/center John Henson as part of a five-player deal (that also included Washington).

So far, the Bucks have won that trade. Dellavedova is a nice player when it comes to setting up the offense for the second unit, but no longer does much else. Henson has been injured and spent just eight minutes on the floor in a Cavs uniform.

Hill played for a team that finished with the best record in the East last season. The Bucks (15-3) are riding a nine-game winning streak into Cleveland. The Cavs (5-13) have won just two of the last 10.

Hill played well enough that the Bucks re-signed him to a three-year contract this past summer.

As for Korver, well, it's more of the same.

Like Hill, Korver is a pro's pro through and through. Even at 38, Korver remains a major 3-point threat off the bench. He is familiar with Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer, as the two spent time together in Atlanta when the Hawks finished with the best record in the East (2014-15). 

Budenholzer knows how to use Korver and Korver knows when to shoot and when to pass up a shot and swing the ball. The Bucks are a well-oiled machine, a team of veteran players who understand their roles. Korver is a flawless fit.

"Whenever I drive the ball, he moves,” Antetokounmpo said. “(That’s) something I didn’t know about him. When you’re in training camp, you’re not always on the same team. You don’t always get to play a lot of minutes with him. He moves … I’ve got to keep my head up and pass it so he can go get it."

Korver was traded to the Utah Jazz last November, with the Cavs receiving Alec Burks and two second-round draft picks. Korver signed a one-year deal with the Bucks after the season.

Bottom line: Both Hill and Korver are winning again, unheralded parts of a team that plays the right way and believes it can contend for a championship. Just as both Hill and Korver once were with the Cavs.

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