Why Jrue Holiday is the Milwaukee Bucks’ key to success
While Giannis Antetokounmpo is still having historic performances, the Milwaukee Bucks’ key to victory is Jrue Holiday who leads the supporting cast. The stocky point guard has not played consistently which is compounded by the fact that he was traded for multiple draft picks.
When Giannis went down with an injury for Games 5 and 6 of the East Finals against the Atlanta Hawks, it was Jrue and Khris Middleton who stepped up big-time for the fallen superstar. They proved themselves to be the right men for the job as Giannis’ supporting cast. However, during Games 1 and 2 of the NBA Finals against the Phoenix Suns, both stars were almost non-existent.
Game 3 was a different story as Jrue left a lasting mark on the game with 21 points and 9 assists. He controlled the pace of the game with his passing and he forced the issue when he found a hole in the Suns’ defence. If he plays that way, the Bucks can win the title because both Giannis and Khris will surely do their usual contributions.
Jrue should not be a bipolar star
Jrue will always be a good defender since he has the assets to be physical against opposing guards and he has the smarts to avoid contact when they try to draw fouls. He is a stellar defender but he sometimes struggles with this offence. In Game 2, he missed eight layups which was a bad omen for the Bucks since they lost that game to go down 0-2.
He is not a stable presence because he’s either up or down in terms of his performances. This Jekyll-and-Hyde act from Jrue should not be a constant issue since he’s an All-Star level player who was given a big contract extension earlier in the 2020-21 season.
He was traded for Eric Bledsoe because the Bucks thought he was the better version of the former Bucks guard. However, during this playoff run, he has looked like Bledsoe at times because he also struggled on offence with bad shooting splits.
Game 3 of the Finals should be a turning point for Jrue because he is the biggest x-factor for both teams. If he plays well, you can expect the Bucks to win since both Khris and Giannis are given less attention.
Can the Bucks win the title?
If Jrue can keep playing like this, they have a chance to complete the comeback from 0-2 down to win the title. This has happened before back in the 2006 NBA Finals when the Miami Heat came back from the same deficit by winning four games in a row to beat the Dallas Mavericks and win the title.
Jrue will have to support an amazing Giannis run while also empowering Khris to shoot better. This Bucks team is dangerous and they shouldn’t be counted out.
Words: Cholo Martin