Feb 21, 2012; Memphis, TN, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Jrue Holiday (11) defends against the Memphis Grizzlies at the FedEx Forum. Memphis defeated Philadelphia 89-76. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-US PRESSWIRE
During the first two seasons of his career, Jrue Holiday became the apple of many Sixers fans' eyes. His youth, tenacious defense and flashes of offensive potential earned him labels such as 'point guard of the future' and 'future NBA All Star'.
Holiday was far from a great offensive player during his sophomore season, but showed vast improvement from year one and enough skills as a 20 year old to provide hope that he had the potential to become an above average offensive threat from the point guard position.
Unfortunately, Jrue has failed miserably to live up to the high expectations. His overall progression as a prospect has essentially come to a complete halt in this his third season and he's regressed in a big way on the offensive side of the ball.
Jrue is one of 37 point guards in the NBA who average at least 25 minutes per game, and from a production standpoint, he's one of the worst offensive players at his position.
|PER||TS%||ASTR||TOR||USG%||FTR||Shots At Rim|
|Rank (Out of 37)||30th||32nd||30th||9th||17th||35th||17th|
His age is one of the reasons many have been able to look past Jrue's offensive production, along with his defense –which has been highly-regarded since entering the league. That said, Jrue's defense has undoubtedly fallen off since the beginning of the season. The skillset and potential remain intact, and he has definitely shown the ability to be a great perimeter defender, but he's been far from consistent since midway through the season and been torched by opposing point guards on more than a few occasions.
I, like many, am down on Jrue Holdiay as a prospect. I think it's still too early to "give up" on him, but at some point we're going to have to evaluate him based on production rather than potential. Even if Jrue is a top 5-10 defensive point guard, does that wipe away the fact that he's a bottom 5-10 offensive point guard? If you pair the two together, he's a average point guard, at best, and realistically, below average.
The eternal optimist in me believes that combination of: Doug Collins, the team's bounty of ballhandlers, Evan Turner and the lack of legitimate bigs to feed the ball to have been the main culprits in Jrue's lack of development, but with each passing game my optimism turns to realism.
Jrue is a few months shy of his 22nd birthday and 10 games away from entering his fourth NBA season. As time goes on, the great potential Jrue was once perceived to have will begin to dwindle, and he will be looked at for what he is, rather than what he could be. He's not there yet, but don't kid yourself, this season has been an absolute failure for Jrue Holiday – the player and the prospect.