Who helped turn the Milwaukee Bucks into NBA title contenders?

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 19 (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 19 (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Jrue Holiday, Phoenix Suns: Chris Paul
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

Who made the Milwaukee Bucks contenders: #3: Jrue Holiday

As previously mentioned, Eric Bledsoe gave the Milwaukee Bucks a two-way weapon at point guard and was eventually included in the trade for Jrue Holiday. Holiday represented a massive upgrade from Bledsoe on both ends of the court. He is known around the NBA as one of the hardest guards to go against defensively and a player capable of scoring 20-30 points every night.

Jrue Holiday arrived in Milwaukee and gave the Bucks a legit Big 3 ( Big 4 if you include Brook Lopez). Holiday’s first season with the Milwaukee Bucks was the 2020-21 season, and he made an instant impact, scoring 17.7 points, passing 6.1 assists, grabbing 4.5 rebounds, and snagging 1.6 steals per game while shooting 50.3 percent from the field, 39.2 percent from the 3-point line and 78.7 percent from the free throw line.

Jrue Holiday arrived, and the Milwaukee Bucks won their first NBA Title in 50 years. Holiday was a huge part of the journey and the destination. In the previously mentioned Game 5 against the Atlanta Hawks without Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brook Lopez wasn’t the only player who had a signature performance. Holiday turned in a 25-point-13-assist double-double. The most impressive part of the double-double by Holiday was the fact that he only had two turnovers to go with his 13 assists.

Holiday was also part of one of the greatest plays in NBA history. In the NBA Finals against the Phoenix Suns, with the Milwaukee Bucks leading 120-119 with 16 seconds to play in Game 5, Devin Booker drove and Jrue Holiday met him at the spot, stole the ball, dribbled the ball up the court, and threw a lob to Giannis Antetokounmpo, who threw down the dunk despite being pushed by Chris Paul and finished arguably the greatest play in Milwaukee Bucks history: The Valley Oop. The play still induces chills just thinking about it, and re-watching it still gives the same amazing feeling as the day it happened.

Jrue Holiday, in his most recent season with the Milwaukee Bucks, got himself back to the All-Star game by having arguably his best regular season as a Buck, averaging 19.3 points, 7.4 assists, and 5.1 rebounds per game, all-season highs in Milwaukee. Holiday also shot a career-high 85.9 percent from the free-throw line. Jrue Holiday, without a doubt, helped make the Milwaukee Bucks a contender.