Jrue Holiday is really, really struggling.
Holiday is shooting 26.6% from the field in April (5 games), using 15.8 field goal attempts to score 11.8 points per game, good for a 34.8% true shooting percentage. He has had a 92.7 offensive rating in April compared to a 111.1 defensive rating.
His assists have plummeted as well, collecting only 1 assist in each of the last two games, with a 1.5 assist to turnover ratio and a 25.3% assist rate in April. On the season, Holiday has averaged a 2.17 assist to turnover ratio and a 37.2% assist rate, with a 40% assist rate before the all-star break.
|Points/Game||True Shooting %||Assist Rate||Usage Rate||Defensive Rating|
Perhaps most telling has been his defense, which was on full display Wednesday night against the Hawks. Holiday, who at times has been an incredible perimeter defender, has been letting up dribble penetration with alarming regularity.
After Wednesday's game, Holiday admitted that he was fatigued.
"I'm getting tired," Holiday said. "Obviously there's a lot of fatigue in there."
It's not the first time Holiday has mentioned fatigue in the last few weeks.
For his part, Doug Collins has been playing Holiday less, with Holiday playing only 27 minutes per night in each of the last two games.
"I've tried to give him some breaks, give him a little rest," Collins said when asked about Holiday after the game. "[It's] sort of that dog day time of the year."
For a player like Holiday, who is so heavily reliant on his jump shot, he could start seeing his offensive game start slipping before he's even fully cognizant of the extent of his exhaustion. When your legs go, your jump shot follows, and it's possible Holiday's offensive game was struggling due to fatigue before he really started feeling the full impact of his increase in minutes.
On the one hand, learning to play through physical exhaustion is something I can see being a valuable skill to have. This is not the last year In Holiday's career that he is going to have played heavy minutes, and in future years we will (hopefully) be in a playoff race where is production will be needed. He is going to need to find ways to pace himself, to alter his game to maintain effectiveness when his legs leave him. This experience, even if he's failing, could provide a learning experience for future years.
I'm also of the belief that any time you're on the basketball court, especially with teammates who may be on the team for a few years, there's value to be had.
However, every minute an NBA player is on the court there's also the risk of an injury happening. The chance may be small, and there's no comparison in this regard to a sport like football, but the risk is there, and that risk may be heightened for a fatigued player. How much that is heightened is actually something I'm not sure there is a concrete answer on, and it would be interesting to see a detailed analysis on the subject.
What would you do? Do you let him play the season out? Would you play him, but heavily limit his minutes? Would you sit him on the bench and make him a cheerleader? Discuss it in the comments.
Sixers vs Hawks post game interviews - Jrue Holiday and Thaddeus Young