The NBA recently released its 2019/2020 All-Defensive teams, and like every year, some players will feel as if they were slighted. However, this season has a faction of players campaigning for Jrue Holiday, who they feel is an egregious snub from the NBA All-Defensive teams.
Holiday was thought by many to be a shoo-in for at least one of this year’s All-Defensive teams. He was rewarded for his defensive prowess each of the past seasons but only received 14 second-place votes this year. To put that into perspective, Holiday is not among the top-two guards that are also not on the All-Defensive teams.
These results left players around the league perplexed. Holiday’s teammate, JJ Redick, repudiated the selections, stating that he is universally recognized as one of the NBA’s best defenders.
Damian Lillard and Ja Morant co-signed Redick’s sentiment. Lillard, in particular, is more than aware of Holiday’s indefatigable presence on defense. In the 2018 playoffs, he held the Blazers star to 18.5 points on 35% shooting.
Former Finals MVP Andre Iguodala lauded the 30-year-old for playing outstanding defense on Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant. Much to his disappointment, he went on to say that Holiday will never garner the respect he deserves.
Holiday vs. Bledsoe
Many are quick to condemn the selection of Eric Bledsoe over Jrue Holiday; they believe Bledsoe’s spot is in large part due to his position in the Bucks’ overall defensive schemes. Holiday ranks higher than Bledsoe in defensive versatility (88th percentile to 12th) and percentage of time guarding the league’s elite — 37.1% to 18.4%, according to BBall Index. Moreover, the Pelicans guard’s Defensive RPM is greater than Bledsoe’s as well, as he slots in the 83rd percentile, to Bledsoe’s 48th. To put the icing on the cake, most raw stats favor Holiday as well.
It’s impossible to reverse the decision of the pundits. However, it’s nice to see Holiday’s colleagues voice their support for him.