3 lessons the Milwaukee Bucks can use from last postseason this year

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JULY 20 (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JULY 20 (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Jrue Holiday, Phoenix Suns: Chris Paul, Devin Booker
PHOENIX, ARIZONA – JULY 17 (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Lesson No. 2 – Jrue Holiday must guard the opposing team’s best perimeter player in the playoffs for the Milwaukee Bucks

Due to the championship that it brought the Bucks in his first season, the Jrue Holiday trade will likely go down as one of the most important transactions in team history.

I’m sure a lot of fans remember that Holiday struggled to find a rhythm at any point throughout last season’s playoffs. However, what Holiday contributed defensively made up for the lack of offensive production and proved to be much more important for the team.

Holiday gave some of the best perimeter players in the league fits during the playoffs last season. Per NBA.com/stats, in 34 and a half minutes matched up on Kyrie Irving in the second round, Irving was not the same player that we are accustomed to seeing out of him. In those 34 minutes, Irving shot 10-of-28 (35.7 percent) and only contributed 7 assists. For a player of Irving’s caliber in terms of playmaking, those numbers are not what you would expect out of him.

One round later, Holiday had another tough perimeter matchup when he had the challenge of guarding Trae Young. The Young numbers may be slightly less impressive than the other matchups Holiday had, due to Young playing part of the series hobbled. Still, Holiday was able to hold Young, one of the best shooters in the NBA, to 10-of-26 from the field (38.5 percent) and 2-of-13 from deep (15.4 percent) in 27 minutes. He also forced Young into 10 turnovers, once again showing why his defense held more value than his offense during the playoffs last season.

Probably the most notable of any of the matchups that Holiday had considering what was at stake, was the Devin Booker matchup that he faced during the NBA Finals. In just under 34 minutes on Booker in the biggest playoff series of his life, Holiday stepped up tremendously. Holiday held Booker to a dismal 9-of-30 from the field (30 percent) and 2-of-14 from 3-point territory (14.3 percent). Booker also turned the ball over 9 times while defended by Holiday, including one that I’m certain instantly comes to mind for Bucks fans.

Holiday was given some of the most difficult assignments that a player can have during the playoffs last season and he put on a defensive clinic. It’s very likely that the team wouldn’t be in the position of defending NBA Champions if it wasn’t for the fabulous defensive display that they received from Holiday.