PHOENIX – Jrue Holiday knows what everyone wants him to do. Nobody needs to tell him to be more aggressive in attack. Or to keep firing, that his shots will eventually start dropping.
“We always throw it out there,” said his father, Shawn Holiday.
But Shawn has been training his son long enough to know how self-observing he is. Going into Game 5 of these NBA Finals, Holiday had only scored 33% of his shots (23 out of 69), including a particularly bad 4 out of 20 in Game 4.
“After the game, we could get in the car and say, ‘This is hard,'” said Shawn. “But we don’t really talk much about the game, because he already knows what to do.”
Be more aggressive. Keep shooting. Trust that his shots will eventually fall.
“My dad thinks I’m the best player in the world,” said Holiday with a smile after scoring 27 points, distributing 13 assists and creating the game of the night with a steal against Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker with 16.7. seconds remaining in Saturday Game 5. A perfect alley-oop for team-mate Giannis Antetokounmpo followed to seal the Milwaukee Bucks’ 123-119 victory to a 3-2 lead in the Finals.
“Feels like I can do it all: play 48 minutes, I don’t need to go out, I don’t need a break. But actually be aggressive throughout the game. “
As Jrue points out, his dad is a bit biased when it comes to him. But Shawn’s message to stay on course is important here.
How many top players could fight off the pitch as much as Jrue Holiday before Saturday night and not break down?
How many would shrug after a 4 out of 20 shooting performance and just be happy that the team had claimed the victory?
“We still won,” Holiday said. “And I know I can do other things to influence the game.”
As a defense.
Holiday was phenomenal against Chris Paul and Booker’s megawatt Phoenix backcourt. According to Second Spectrum, in the 268 fights in which Holiday is the main defender on Booker or Paul, they average only 22 points for every 100 possessions. Against all other Bucks defenders, the duo averaged 39.7 points for every 100 possessions. Holiday forced Paul to 10 unusual turnovers and Booker to eight.
One of those turnovers, of course, was the play that ended up deciding Game 5.
The Suns were recovering from a 14-point shortfall in the fourth quarter behind shots from Booker, Paul and Mikal Bridges and a streak of three missed free throws by Antetokounmpo.
After Paul narrowed the lead to 120-119 with 56 seconds left, Booker had a chance to give the Suns the lead. He passed PJ Tucker between the teeth of the Bucks defense. Antetokounmpo turned to stop his run, leaving Booker with little choice but to walk away from him.
Holiday was watching the game unfold as he defended Paul near the 3-point arc. He couldn’t leave too soon or Booker could find the Paul open. But Holiday couldn’t be late either, or Booker would have had a clean look at a shot of his spin move.
As has often been the case in this series, Holiday’s timing was perfect. He fell as Booker was turning, snatched the ball from him without fail, then rushed across the pitch on a fast break, where Antetokounmpo was in a full sprint, ready for alley-oop.
“Honestly, it was a great defense for the team,” Holiday said. “I feel like we knew Booker wanted to take the last shot and he played a great defense on him and made him turn his back, and he turned right on me. I guess I’m in the right place at the right time “.
Michael Wilbon analyzes the great performances of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday to lead the Bucks to victory in Game 5.
Pat Connaughton of Milwaukee was a little more outgoing.
“First Team All-Defense Game. He was a defender of the year [play]”Connaughton said.
On the stands, Shawn and Toya Holiday witnessed the decisive sequence with a small group of Bucks family and friends. They stayed with their second son at his home in Milwaukee during these playoffs and traveled to every away game.
They were happy, but not too happy, considering their son had just scored his best performance in the Bucks’ biggest playoff match to date, which left them one win from their first title since 1971, with Game 6 on Tuesday. evening in Milwaukee.
“He’s been through this before where his shot doesn’t fall,” Shawn said. “But people have to understand that there is more to the game than scoring. He is leading the team, controlling the pace of the game through the defense.
“So we just tell them to stay on course.”
Stay on course and nights like match 5 happen.
[ https://thedailycanvas.com/one-win-away-jrue-holiday-and-the-milwaukee-bucks-are-staying-the-course/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=one-win-away-jrue-holiday-and-the-milwaukee-bucks-are-staying-the-course https://d26toa8f6ahusa.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/30214746/a-quiet-place-part-2-bigs-16.pdf