Jrue Holiday, point guard for the Philadelphia Sixers (13-15) has had a stellar year thus far. With Evan Turner by his side he has led the Sixers to 13 victories. Holiday is averaging 18.3 points per game and 8.8 assists per game. Holiday is 4th in the league in assists behind All-Star guards; Rajan Rondo, Chris Paul, and Russell Westbrook. Holiday is also tied for 6th in the league for points per game among point guards with Kemba Walker and is making a very strong case to represent the Sixers in the All-Star Game this year. He has definitely shown improvement since last year, so let’s take a look at the areas he has improved in:
Holiday has become much more of a scoring threat than the years previous. In his 4th year in the NBA, he is averaging 18 points per game which is a definite improvement to his average last year of 13.5 points per game. He is also shooting the ball more efficiently in the process. He is taking good shots and he is taking what the defense gives him. He is shooting 45% from the field which is not much different than his last year’s total of 43%, but it is certainly an improvement.
Jrue has increased court awareness and is spreading the ball around. He is averaging almost 9 assists per game which is something the Sixers needed. A criticism of the Sixers is that they do not have a go-to man. With Andre Iguodola gone, there is no question that Holiday is that guy. His ability to take over games with his passing and his scoring has helped the Sixers tremendously. The addition of Jason Richardson, Nick Young, and Dorell Wright has also helped give him more targets.
Here are some areas where he can still improve in:
His defensive play has not been bad, but it could be better. There are many elite point guards in the NBA and the ones that are considered to be amongst the best (Chris Paul, Rajan Rondo, Deron Williams) are great defenders. Chris Paul is leading the league in steals per game with 2.7. Holiday is far behind, tied at 34 with only 1.38. Holiday has to increase his defensive activity and that will enable him to take his game to the next level.
Holiday must cut down on the turnovers. He is averaging 3.7 turnovers per game and has had 6 games with 6+ turnovers. Although there are elite point guards such as Russell Westbrook that average a lot of turnovers as well, in order for his team to win Holiday must decrease his amount. Holiday does not have another superstar to back him up like Russell Westbrook does in Kevin Durant.
Overall, Holiday has definitely shown improvement since last year and it is exciting to watch. He is only 22 years old, the future of the team, and he is only going to get better. It should be interesting to see how the rest of this season plays out for Jrue Holiday and the Philadelphia Sixers.