If the Bucks want to win an NBA championship, Jrue Holiday is going to have to play like an All-Star.
Holiday is obviously the most important player in this series on either side. When he plays well on offense and defense, the Bucks are probably going to win.
He’s the only player in this series who can dictate how the game goes on both offense and defense. When he’s making shots and when he’s picking up full-court pressuring the Phoenix guards he is a huge problem.
However, in this series, Holiday hasn’t always been that dude. In Games 1 and 2, he shot 31 percent from the field and 14 percent from three. He only averaged 13.5 points. Not to mention he let his counterpart, Chris Paul, average 27.5 points per game over and shoot 56 percent from the field and a staggering 58 percent from three in those contests. That’s unacceptable from a player who has the defensive capabilities of Holiday. He’s quick, strong, and has a great basketball IQ, which helps him with defensive positioning. He can make it harder on Paul consistently in this series, especially since Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer finally made adjustments to stop switching the pick and roll and using the drop coverage.
Game 3 was a glimpse into what the Bucks can look like when Holiday is playing the way he’s supposed to play. Holiday scored 21 points and shot 57 percent from the field including 50 percent from three. Holiday also added 9 assists to his game log. He even held Paul under 20 points for the game.
And guess what? The Bucks won by 20.
Milwaukee brought Holiday in the mix to be an All-Star caliber player and they need him to perform like one to win this series. He needs to determine the flow of the game on both offense and defense while being efficient in his shot opportunities.
In big-time moments it’s going to take big-time performances from your best players. It’s time for Holiday to step up and be the key for the Bucks if they are going to win a championship.