Milwaukee Bucks: 4 reflections on first half of 2020-21 season

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - FEBRUARY 28: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - FEBRUARY 28: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE – MARCH 04: (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE – MARCH 04: (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) /

Jrue Holiday’s arrival to the Milwaukee Bucks can’t be understated

There’s no question Antetokounmpo committing to the Bucks for the long-term future before the start of the 2020-21 season served as the biggest piece of business that was addressed in the offseason.

A close second, though, unsurprisingly proves to be the high-profile addition of Jrue Holiday, whom the Bucks acquired from the New Orleans Pelicans and left the Bucks with surrendering three first rounders and two pick swaps in the process. The exorbitant price the Bucks had to part with to acquire the veteran guard has been touched on extensively and while he’s currently eligible for a max extension, there’s no movement on that front as of yet in terms of his long-term future in Milwaukee.

What Holiday has done for the Bucks’ present, though, is change the complexion of team immeasurably all in his 26 appearances to date this season. Holiday is averaging 15.3 points on .491/.364/.766 shooting, 5.1 assists, 4.3 rebounds and a career-high 1.8 steals.

Holiday’s remarkably versatile defending has given the Bucks a go-to option to put on the premier players around the league, whether that’s LeBron James, Kevin Durant and so on. On the other side of the ball, Holiday’s on-ball presence and well-rounded game has given the Bucks the complementary scorer they need and one who isn’t afraid of taking a big shot late as his recent game winner against the Memphis Grizzlies showed.

More importantly, Holiday has truly fortified the Bucks’ Big 3 between himself, Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton. Per, the Bucks are outscoring their opponents by 10.7 points per 100 possessions in the 483 minutes those three have been on the floor together.

Holiday’s presence and swiss-army knife-like abilities has significantly changed the Bucks’ outlook and we only have to go back to when he missed 10 games due to having COVID-19 last month to see the various ways he’s stepped into his role in Milwaukee.

Going into the second half of their season, the Bucks will only continue leaning further on Holiday. Given what we’ve seen of him in his growing time with the Bucks, Holiday will calmly embrace the looming challenges ahead.