There's a lot of questions surrounding Jrue Holiday. He's been dubbed the franchise point guard despite the fact that Andre Iguodala, Evan Turner, and Louis Williams take a ton of his point guard duties from him. A lot of that is on Doug Collins, but the bottom line is Jrue has been entirely inconsistent during his career and didn't play nearly as well this season as all of us were hoping he would.
But in the playoffs, not only has he been the Sixers best player, but he's been given the role of their best player as well. He's played and performed in valuable crunch time minutes, doing all the things we were hoping he would do all season long.
Jrue's only played in nine Playoff games, but based on the numbers, his approach drastically changes when the lights get brighter and the intensity is turned up. He stops settling for long two and attacks the basket nearly twice as much as he does during the regular season. What's the reason for the change? I have no idea, but it needs to continue for the remainder of the Playoffs and carry over into next season, along with the rest of Jrue's career. If it does, we could be looking at a completely different player.
The biggest deal then (and now) is how he's been attacking. If the Sixers are settling for grind-em-out half court possessions, they're going to lose. And lose badly. So even when they can't get out in transition, they still have to be pushing the ball at the rim when they're in their sets. And last night, that's what he did.
The Celtics made the choice of playing shot-blocker Greg Stiemsma just 5 minutes. That opened up the lane, and the Sixers exploited it.
- Jrue took 10 of his 15 shots inside of ten feet. Compare that to his regular season average of 40% of his shots.
- He also took 6 foul shots. Averaged 1.8 this season.
- He and Evan got Ray Allen into foul trouble, forcing Mickael Pietrus to play 35 (35!) mostly ineffective minutes.
- He's the cutest.
So while Jrue has a lot of work to do in the regular season, there are still many many times where he looks like the best point guard in that 2009 draft. And if it's the dice we're rolling, I'm happy to put my chips in with Jrue Holiday as my starting point guard for the next decade.
But for now, let's just keep attacking. Game 7. Sixers Be Crazy.