Jrue Holiday Is Becoming a Top Flight Point Guard

Jrue Holiday didn’t come into this season with very great expectation. With the acquisition of Andrew Bynum it was expected that the 76ers offense would cater less to Holiday than it ever had.

With the departure of Andre Iguodala in that same trade and Lou Williams via Free Agency, the 76ers were hoping that one of their two guards–Holiday and Evan Turner–would step up and provide them with an option through the pick and roll and playing the inside out game with Bynum.

Of course, Turner has that shaky jumper that hasn’t been able to fix itself yet. Turner has played below expectation for the first three years of his career. As the heir apparent to Andre Iguodala the expectations seem to be unreasonably high. Stepping into an All-Star’s shoes after not even being a starter is a hard thing to do.

The good thing is that Jrue Holiday has been able to play better than he did last season and keep the 76ers afloat. Holdiay is averaging 18.5 points per game and 9.1 assists per game along with shooting over 40% from beyond the arc via basketball reference. He’s shooting 45% from the field as well. Those are all career high marks from Holiday.

Though he’s averaging a very high 4.4 turnovers per game, he’s picked his game up in other areas where he has been slacking in the past. Of course you’d like to see those turnover numbers drop–and they should–but this is the first time he’s had a usage rate of over 25%. It takes some time to get used to being the focal point in an offense. Once Bynum returns, that’s going to change and his numbers may take a slight drop but he’ll still be productive.

The great news is that Holiday has remained on top of his game on the defensive end. He’s only giving up .69 points per possession on isolation plays, per Synergy Sports Technology. That ranks among the top 10 in the league. He’s also still the pick and roll defender that he developed into last season. He’s currently only allowing .66 points to the pick and roll ball handler now. That ranks within the top 20.

Holiday still has a lot to work on with his game, but for a player on the cusp of being considered an All-Star he’s had stretches where he’s played like one. If he can find any kind of consistency with his ball control then Holiday will definitely be an All-Star candidate soon.

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