Milwaukee Bucks: Jrue Holiday’s confidence uplifting the Bucks

CLEVELAND, OHIO - FEBRUARY 05 (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OHIO - FEBRUARY 05 (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

To say that Jrue Holiday has been fantastic throughout his short time with the Milwaukee Bucks would be a widely massive understatement.

Whatever the Bucks envisioned when they traded for Holiday this offseason, he has lived up to those expectations throughout 23 games, if not having exceeded them. Throughout his aforementioned appearances with the Bucks, Holiday has averaged 16.4 points on a .520/.387/.791 slash line, 4.8 rebounds, and 5.4 assists per game.

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The guard has been highly efficient scoring the basketball as Milwaukee’s third option while also showcasing his playmaking prowess, both areas that this team desperately needed after last season.

That is not to discredit his defensive efforts either, as he has also been fantastic on that side of the ball. The two-time All-Defensive honoree is averaging a career-best 1.9 steals per game, keeping opponents on their toes at all times when matched up against him.

Along with his massive contributions, the Milwaukee Bucks have taken notice of Jrue Holiday’s surging confidence.

When watching Holiday play, it is not hard to notice the confidence he possesses, showing the ultimate poise on both ends of the floor. If the Bucks need a score, Holiday will either find the open man or take it himself to get Milwaukee the best available look. Defensively, he feels comfortable guarding any opponent of any size.

That top-tier play has certainly impacted everyone on this Bucks roster, one player in particularly being Khris Middleton. After Milwaukee’s win over the Cleveland Cavaliers Saturday night, Middleton was asked about playing alongside Jrue and what it has done for his game offensively:

"“It’s great to play with teammates like that when you know that all you have to do is get to the open spot. He’ll do all the work for you and give you a nice little runner or open three. That’s what makes Jrue so great. That he can create plays for other guys while he’s still being aggressive at the same time.”"

It is no secret that the Bucks have been working like a well-oiled machine on the offensive end this season. Boasting the league’s best offensive rating this season, the Bucks are top three in field goal percentage, 3-point percentage, points, and assists per game among teams in the league. While Jrue’s presence was not the sole factor in unlocking this offense, he has been a sizeable part of it, as Middleton detailed.

During Saturday’s game, Holiday showed the all-around impact that he can have whenever he is on the floor, as he stuffed the stat sheet with 20 points, eight assists, three rebounds, two steals, and a single block. Following that stellar performance, head coach Mike Budenholzer shared his thoughts on Milwaukee’s new point guard, and the impact he has had on this unit.

Of course, there is still a long regular season ahead, but that does not mean Holiday is exempt from some praise for his early efforts with the Bucks. The guard has elevated this team’s overall confidence with his presence, and that will be pivotal as they look to rewrite their postseason woes down the line.

Right now, it is safe to say that the Bucks hit a home-run with the acquisition of Holiday this offseason. Hopefully, the guard feels the same way that everyone in Milwaukee feels about him with a max extension offer to stay long-term likely coming his way towards the end of this month. 

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Only time will tell what transpires there, but there is no questioning Jrue Holiday’s early impact in Milwaukee so far this 2020-21 season.