Top 50 NBA Players: #47 Jrue Holiday

Jrue Holiday
Resume: 17.7 points, 4.2 rebounds, 8.0 assists (4th in league), 1.6 steals, 37.5 minutes, 43% FG, 37% 3PT, and 75% FT… Team record in games played: 34-44 (0-4 without)… All-Star

It’s extremely easy to make a case for Jrue Holiday to make my top 50. He was an All-Star. The main distinction of making the NBA All-Star team aside from being present for the most talented annual pick-up game in basketball is that there is the notion that if you are an All-Star, you mattered. In large part this is very true. We can look at All-Star appearances throughout history and get a relatively accurate snapshot of who mattered and who was great during a given season or era. It’s basically the exact opposite of what the Pro Bowl has become. I’m here to tell you that if you are sitting with your laptop wondering why Jrue Holiday, an All-Star, barely snuck into the top 50 when just seven months ago Holiday was one of 24 players selected to play in the NBA All-Star, it’s because that All-Star selection has a tiny asterisk sitting next to it.

April 15, 2013; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Philadelphia 76ers point guard Jrue Holiday (11) shoots over Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond (1) during the first quarter at The Palace. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

I have nothing against Jrue Holiday. I wouldn’t have a reason to have a personal grudge or bias towards him except that he dunked on LeBron. He’s a good point guard who does a lot of things well, but nothing great. There isn’t really anything that stands out about him or is incredibly flashy other than the fact that his name is spelled with a “J” when for hundreds of years “Jrue” was spelled “Drew.” Holiday made the All-Star game for two reasons:

  1. Since I never want to be viewed as a complete hypocrite, I will admit that Holiday’s early season play convinced me to bump him all the way up to #27 in my revised top 50 list that I released a week before the All-Star break. You have to give credit to Jrue; he played well enough over his first 47 games that when he was named an All-Star it didn’t seem like a downright tragedy at the time. He was averaging 19 points, 9 assists and 4 rebounds per game for a fringe playoff team in the absolutely putrid Eastern Conference. That leads me to my next point.
  2. The Eastern Conference sucked all kinds of suck last year, and it didn’t help that Rajon Rondo and Derrick Rose were both injured and out for the remainder of the year, John Wall had been back from injury for only a month and Deron Williams was playing like he was in one of those body-switching comedies co-starring Devin Harris. That left Kyrie Irving as the only other point on the Eastern Conference All-Star roster. Meanwhile, the Western Conference had Chris Paul, Tony Parker and Russell Westbrook playing in the game with Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard, Ty Lawson and Mike Conley (all still to come in the countdown) sitting at home.

Again, I like Holiday, and I think he makes a bigger difference for a young Pelicans team than Greivis Vasquez would have. But was he really All-Star worthy? Sorry, but not quite. And I can’t help but feel like he won’t be getting another All-Star nod any time soon now that he’s playing in the wild west.

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