3 Milwaukee Bucks that must step up after Giannis Antetokounmpo’s injury

Jun 27, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 27, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /
2 of 3
Milwaukee Bucks: Jrue Holiday, Pat Connaughton, Atlanta Hawks: Danilo Gallinari, Lou Williams
Jun 23, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA (Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports) /

Milwaukee Bucks that must step up following Giannis Antetokounmpo’s injury: Jrue Holiday

After starting the first two games in this series on a mission, Jrue Holiday’s production has nosedived over the latest two.

Averaging just 12.5 points in the two road games, Holiday has looked distressed when trying to score the basketball. He has been unable to find any sustainable rhythm as he is shooting 8-of-28 (28.6 percent) from the floor, including an abysmal  2-of-10 (20 percent) from 3-point range in this span. Holiday showcased throughout the first two contests in this series that he can erupt offensively by averaging 27.5 points, and the team will desperately need him to get going once more.

It starts with the guard finishing his bunny shots close to the basket. According to NBA.com/stats, Holiday is shooting just 3-of-6 in the restricted area and a horrific 3-of-10 in the non-restricted painted area over his last two games. These numbers undeniably cause some concern regarding Holiday’s struggles on offense, and he must clean it up moving forward. Particularly in the Game 1 opener of this series, Holiday was fantastic in attacking with the basketball, and he must keep that aggressiveness alive, despite the misses piling up.

Attacking the hoop early to get some quick points on the board should be a point of emphasis for Holiday with much more of the offensive workload on his shoulders. The guard has fallen in love with stepback 3-pointers throughout these playoffs, but given his woeful shooting numbers, he should keep that shot holstered and look to bully his way inside for far better looks. If the guard could regain that explosive scoring bunch that saw him light it up in the games at Fiserv Forum, the Bucks would stand in a much better position.

In addition to the scoring increase, Holiday will see much more time with the basketball in his hands, and he will be tasked with getting his teammates involved. Averaging 9.5 assists through four games thus far, he has played the facilitator role well, but he will face a taller order trying to fill the gaps with Antetokounmpo’s typical production as the typical ball-handler.