3 reasons for optimism midway through the 2022 Milwaukee Bucks season

Dec 10, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 10, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Jrue Holiday
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – JANUARY 05 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /

Well, we’re a little past the midway point of the 82-game season for the Milwaukee Bucks and there is quite a bit that can be taken away from it.

They’re within the top four in the Eastern Conference and have gotten through their worst patch of basketball at the beginning of the season. Some players have underperformed, sure, but the Bucks are still one of the inner-circle contenders in the NBA.

As the team opens the second half of its schedule (which is decidedly more difficult than the first), there are many reasons for optimism as they look to make a push for a higher seed and defend their NBA title.

#1: Jrue Holiday is playing at an All-Star level for the Milwaukee Bucks

Although he’s missed time throughout the season at different points due to either an ankle injury or health and safety protocols, Jrue Holiday has largely played at an All-Star level this season.

On the year, he’s averaging over 18 points per game on 57.6 percent true shooting along with 4.6 rebounds, 6.7 assists, and 1.6 steals. That’s including his wonky first 10 games after dealing with an ankle sprain, though.

In his last 22 games, Holiday is averaging 18.9 points on 62.6 percent true shooting to go along with 5.0 rebounds, 7.2 assists, and 1.6 steals. When you factor in the efficiency that he’s scoring with, you could argue this is the best overall basketball he’s played in his career.

On the surface, that is already a positive sign for the Bucks. But when you factor in that it’s coming off of a shaky playoff run where he struggled with not only his jumper but also shots at the rim? This is a big reason to be optimistic.

There’s no guarantee that Holiday will keep this level of play going through the whole season and into the playoffs, especially after what we saw last playoffs, but it’s notable that he’s not only returned to form from last season but playing even better and put his playoff struggles behind him.

If the Bucks get this version of Holiday in the playoffs? They’re even scarier than you already thought.