Milwaukee Bucks: Jrue Holiday likely returning against the LA Clippers

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

After a lengthy absence, it appears all but certain that the Milwaukee Bucks will finally get starting point guard Jrue Holiday back in the lineup.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Holiday has been cleared of the league’s health and safety protocols after missing 10 consecutive games and is likely to return Sunday as Milwaukee hosts the LA Clippers.

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Woj noted that Holiday practiced with the team Saturday and has been ramping up his conditioning level all week for his return to the floor. Holiday had been spotted sitting on the sidelines in several of Milwaukee’s past few contests, which proved to be a good foreshadowing of his condition.

The Bucks were all over the place with their starting point guard sidelined for three weeks, managing to put together just a 5-5 overall record. They have found some momentum as of late, winning their previous four games by a sizeable amount. However, they will undoubtedly embrace Holiday’s return to the lineup with open arms.

The guard has been nothing short of fantastic for the Bucks this season, averaging 16.4 points on a 50.2/.387/.791 slash line, 4.8 rebounds, and 5.4 assists per game. The team has certainly missed his presence, and his long-awaited return comes with a pivotal test against another top-heavy contender at Fiserv Forum this Sunday.

Jrue Holiday’s long-awaited return could not have come at a better time for the Milwaukee Bucks with the LA Clippers next on the schedule.

With a 24-11 record, good enough for second in the loaded Western Conference standings, the LA Clippers reside in the NBA’s upper echelon of contending teams, and it is clear to see why. The Clippers have two perennial superstar talents leading the way in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, in addition to one of the league’s best supporting casts.

Heading into this matchup without Holiday would have put Milwaukee at a sizeable disadvantage, but thankfully, they now have the assurance that they will likely not enter this one shorthanded. The Bucks now get back arguably the best guard defender in the association, and he will find himself busy tomorrow trying to slow down Leonard or George throughout the contest.

Holiday’s defense has been sorely missed throughout this turbulent stretch for the Bucks, but that should not overshadow his importance on offense either. The guard is Milwaukee’s third-leading scorer on the season behind Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton, as well as being the playmaker that has helped take their offense up a notch this season. He has alleviated significant pressure off of Milwaukee’s two stars, helping improve their games as well.

Both teams will be near full strength in this one, and it should be a thrilling matchup as these two premier contendings face off for the first time this season. Although Holiday does not guarantee a win, fans can sleep easier tonight knowing that he will finally be back in action for the Bucks, nevertheless.

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Be sure to catch Jrue Holiday’s return to the floor at 2:30 p.m. CST on ABC as the Bucks square off against the Clippers.