Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The Injury Bug Strikes: A Review of Jrue Holiday

The Pelican Debrief season reviews have been flowing for the past 10 days with the large group of role players that played significant minutes for the Pelican’s in 2013-2014. In case you missed them they have been: Luke BabbittDarius MillerJeff WitheyJason SmithAlexis AjincaGreg StiemsmaAustin RiversAnthony Morrow and Brian Roberts and Al-Farouq Aminu. Saturday we started a look at what the projects as the Pelicans’ core going forward with a season review of Ryan Anderson and today we continue with Jrue Holiday.

Stats: 34 games (34 started), 14.3 ppg, 7.9 apg, 4.2 rpg, 1.6 spg, 0.4 bpg

Highlight: On December 30 Holiday went off to the tune of 31 points, 13 assists, seven rebounds, one steal, and one block in a win over Portland at home. Holiday was consistent throughout the game shooting 14 of 28 from the field, hitting both free throws he took, and only turning the ball over twice.

The Good: Holiday posted a career high field goal percentage at 44.7 percent. He posted two different four game stretches of 50 percent or better shooting from the field, once in November, and one in December. Holiday shot 56 percent within three feet of the basket, and 46.2 percent between 10 and 16 feet from the basket to help bolster that number.

The Bad: Holiday only averaged 1.9 free throw attempts per game. That mark would have left him tied for 28th in the league among point guards with Jarrett Jack had he have been eligible for the league leader board. Holiday is reliable with the ball in his hand, and doesn’t turn the ball over often; however, you would like to see him get some more easy points at the stripe considering he shoots 81 percent from the line.

The Ugly: Holiday played in only 34 games this season due to a stress fracture in his right tibia. After sustaining the injury in early January, he underwent successful surgery in late February that officially took him out for the rest of the year.

After trading obtaining the rights for Jrue Holiday in a draft day trade for the rights to Nerlans Noel and a 2014 lottery pick big things were expected in New Orleans. Adding to expectations was the fact that Holiday was coming off the best season career in Philadelphia, posting averages of 17 points per game and eight assists per game. Unfortunately we weren’t exposed to a whole season of the Holiday experience or or a chance to see what the Pelicans were fully capable of due to lack to injuries which casued ofa lack of playing time with the projected starting lineup.

Despite the fact that he only saw 34 games this season, there were a couple of stretches where Holiday showed us what he is capable of. In his first game of the season he posted 24 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. During the middle of December, Holiday rolled of stat lines of 13 points, 10 assists and 5 rebounds, 13 points, seven assists, 17 points, 10 assists and five rebounds and 17 points, eight assists and four rebounds.

One thing that Holiday usually provides is good defense at the point guard position, something that the Pelicans could have benefited greatly from this season as they posting the fourth worst defensive rating in the league at 110.1. However,when he played this season, Holiday posted a 110 defensive rating, after posting defensive ratings of 101 and 107 in the prior two years. Some of this may be due to the team defense struggling so much, only time will tell.

It would be very difficult for us to predict what the Pelicans season would have looked like had Holiday not been injured, or possibly able to return but the ability for Holiday to run an offense and his experience alone would surely have helped out the Pelicans out this season. Thankfully, Holiday is expected to come back next season in full health and help this team win more games, a sight everyone could grow accustomed too.

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