TIME TO STEP UP

Posted by: Steve Toll
08/25/12 9:41 am EST

Jrue Holiday needs to take his game to the next level this season and the addition of Andrew Bynum should act as a supercharger to Holiday’s progression.  The main factors in becoming an elite guard for Holiday are an increase in 3pt attempts and attacking the basket.  The offense should be set much differently then the past few seasons because there are only two ball handlers on the team compared to four last year.  This means that Holiday will be the primary initiator of the offense for the first time in his career.  Defensively, Holiday has all the tools to become a top tier NBA defender for years to come.  

The 3pt shooting is the quick and easy part.  Attacking the basket is going to prove a more difficult task, but the addition of Bynum certainly helps.  To get an understanding of how lacking in these two categories Holiday has been, here are numbers from the past 2 seasons.  Holiday was 8th in total minutes played, 102nd in free throw attempts (tied with Gordon Hayward), and 73rd in made 3pt shots while shooting a very good 37%.  On defense, another year of growth and learning is all that Holiday really needs to continue his development on that end of the court.

Let’s go over his shooting numbers.

Jrue is a career 46% shooter on 2pt field goal attempts.  On 3pt shots, Holiday shoots a very good 37.7%.  To put that in perspective, Holiday scores 92 points for every 100 2pt field goal attempts and 113 points for every 100 3pt attempts he takes.  From 3-land, Holiday is the equivalent of a 57% shooter on 2pt attempts.  Conversely, from 2, Holiday is the equivalent of a sub 31% 3pt shooter. 

This past season, Holiday took 2.6 attempts from 3 per game.  In games, he took more than 3 attempts from downtown, he made 38.7% of his attempts (48-124).  In games he shot 2 or less 3pt shots, Holiday’s efficiency dropped 36.2% (17-47).  In 2010-2011, Holiday shot 38.7% in games he took 3 or more 3pt attempts (67-173).  It seems that an increase in 3pt attempts per game will not cause a significant decrease in accuracy for Holiday.  In fact it’s quite possible that his accuracy will increase with more 3pt attempts as has been the case the last 2 years.

Let’s look at how this can be put into action.  If Holiday takes 12.8 shots per game next year, the same as this past season, what will his numbers look like if he doubles his 3pt attempts? 

We will assume that his 2pt % will be the same as last season, his 3pt % is his career average (37.7%) and his free throw numbers are the same as last season. Jrue scored 13.5 points per game last season; under these circumstances he would score 14.1 points per game.  This past season, scoring 14.1 points and playing 65 games, would have put Holiday at 48th in total points. The .6 points a game increase for Holiday is a 4.4% increase in scoring, If the 76er unit as a whole increased their offense by 4.4% this past season, they would have gone from 23rd in points per game to tied for 13th with the Indiana Pacers and better than the Bulls, Clippers and Lakers

This past season, Jrue was 26th among all guards in shots at the rim, 3.4 per game.  Holiday was tied for 34th in points per game at the rim amongst guards.  The reason being, he shot 53.6% at the rim while the league average for guards is over 60%.  In 2010-2011, Holiday was both 27th in shots and points at the rim with 3.6 attempts and 61%.  For all intensive purposes, Holiday has a down year putting the ball in the basket this season at close range.  With a little improvement in attacking the basket and finishing, Holiday could end up with 4 attempts per game at near 60%.  That increase in rim attacks will also create additional fouls that leads to more free throw attempts. Holiday could easily take 3.5 free throw attempts per game next year.

Breaking down the numbers, Holiday could have a season scoring next year that looks like this on a per game basis. 

4 Shots at the rim at 60%, 4.8 points
3.6 Shots from 3-23 feet at 38%, 2.7 points
5.2 3pt attempts at 37.7%, 5.9 points
3.5 Free Throw attempts at 80%’ 2.8 points

That would leave Holiday at 16.2 points per game and an increase in scoring of 2.7 points per game. A 20% increase in production on the same amount of shots from last season is a huge but very possible bump in production from Holiday.

Now factor in the removal of Lou Williams-Meeks for Jason Richardson, Dorell Wright and Nick Young.  That factor will likely bring an increase in assists per game to Holiday.  These guys will space the floor well and be great kick outs on the pick n roll.

Next season we can expect the production of Holiday to look something like this…

35 minutes, 16 points (45/37/80), 4 rebounds, 7+ assists, 1.8 steals and less than 2.5 turnovers.

If Holiday substantially increases his 3pt attempts it will do wonders for his entire game.  The lane will open up, he will be able to create for others better and his production as a whole will go up.  This can be the season where Holiday elevates his game to truly being one of the best young guards in the game on the offensive end.  His defensive game should continue to improve with another year of maturity and continued instruction from Doug Collins.  How much the presence of Bynum shortens the curve for Holiday remains to be seen.  There are also questions about the rotation and offensive schemes that will be run, but once those items are figured out and Holiday has full reigns of the offense, there is no reason to believe that Holiday won’t vault into a Top 10 point guard.  An offense with a dominating inside presence and 3pt shooters is the perfect scenario for Holiday to flourish in the 4th season with the 76ers


 
 
 

15 Responses to “TIME TO STEP UP”

  1. JT's Hoops Blog
    25. August 2012 at 15:50

    First and foremost, Jrue needs to be a distributor plain and simple. With Iggy gone, he doe not have the luxury to play off somebody. Forget about points, the Sixers have enough players that can score, they need someone to get the ball in the right spot. That’s the challenge for Jrue.

  2. Coach
    25. August 2012 at 16:31

    well put. i always said, even with the team as previously formed, he should be more aggressive offensively. jrue is a stud who plays like he doesn’t know it. numbers aside, have you seen his spin move? filthy.

  3. john
    26. August 2012 at 09:04

    I believe this will truly be jrues break-out season in the NBA. With some new swingmen to kick the ball out to, and the offensive presence of bynum, there’s no reason to believe that jrues numbers will not increase. He needs to focus on the pass first and average at least 7 assist a game (especially with Dre gone). The point production should follow. Im expecting at least 15 points and 7 assists at the end of the season from this young point man.

  4. Bob Koca
    26. August 2012 at 13:23

    Maybe he has only been taking 3 pointers when open. Doubling the number of attempts surely would entail taking some under more pressure so it is a leap to assume that the attempts could be doubled with the % staying the same.

  5. tone
    26. August 2012 at 14:10

    alot of philly fans r bhind the 8ball as far as 2days point guard is concered. in this league they score and dish. that being being said 16 and 7 to 20 and 8 would make him elite and well within his capabilities. that being said holiday plus richardson in the probable starting line up is sufficient enough offense n the starting lineup plus considering our bench 2 put us in the 50-55 win mark. too many mis matches 2 expose. continuity is key.

  6. C From West Philly
    26. August 2012 at 14:48

    Jrue will no longer have to worry about Iguodala and Lou Williams taking the ball out of his hands,so therefore I see Holiday doing more to put a stamp on this team as a leader and floor general.

    16PTS
    5RBS
    7ASSTS
    2STLS
    45-50FG%
    35-403PTFG%

    Sky is the limit for the rising 22yr old.

  7. George
    26. August 2012 at 18:10

    I just hope the whole team is improved from 3 as that will open up the lanes he needs to drive and score/pass. Jrue rarely seems to have that attack mentality, but I hope you are right. His defense has gotten better seemingly each year, and he is definately the number 2 behind Bynum. Let’s hope this is the year he becomes the beast we all believe he can be

  8. hmmmm
    26. August 2012 at 20:03

    Jrue has to be stronger with the ball. less careless play in the lane, and better passing angles.

  9. ken
    27. August 2012 at 17:54

    steve i gota say im actually impressed with this article its well written, hits on very basic but key notes, and provided an opinion on the topic that wasnt rediculous to believe in. good job

  10. doug c
    27. August 2012 at 19:03

    The numbers on Jrue’s increased 3′s looks great for the offense as a whole. But the numbers don’t account for how streaky of a scorer he is. Its usually feast or famine for Jrue as we saw in the playoffs.
    I agree with JT. Why not have Jrue be a driver/distributor and kick out to Wright/Young/Richardson? (They shoot a combined average over 37% from 3 also)

  11. Steve Toll
    27. August 2012 at 21:24

    Hmmmmmm,

    Holiday was 8th in total minutes and 37th in TOs.

    With the exit of Iggy and Lou there are alot more assists available to Holiday. Add in that most of the new additions are 3pt specialists and TOs should be very low again this

  12. Chuck
    27. August 2012 at 21:54

    while i agree that jrue will be better i still think you put a little too much into stats.

  13. Galen
    29. August 2012 at 22:03

    When we decided to on acquire Andrew Bynum, while cutting ties with Iguodala, Brand, and Lou, the word “gamble” was placed on the success of Bynum. Instead, Jrue and Turner are undoubtedly the keys to the success of this team. By no means is Bynum a complete “sure thing,” but Jrue and ET have only show flashes of the players they could become.

    One thing I’ve noticed with Jrue is that he sometimes gets caught up in terms of his identity. I’ve read interviews where he says he wants to be explosive (a la Derrick Rose or Russell Westbrook). Aside from the fact that Jrue doesn’t have that body type, he needs to excel at what he’s good at. He is an excellent shooter and can be very shifty driving to the basket.

    If Jrue can just be Jrue, and focus on what he’s already good at, I have high hopes for the squad this year.

    ::crosses fingers::

  14. Jrue Holiday’s potential and the extra point | Derrick Rose Jersey
    30. August 2012 at 19:54

    [...] That’s what Philly fans are hoping will happen with Holiday, who has struggled to get to the free throw line throughout his young career despite an excellent first step. And even though Holiday is a strong 3-point shooter (38 percent in 2011-12), his number of attempts is relatively low — just 2.8 per 36 minutes last season, which is right on par with Thabo Sefolosha. [...]

  15. John H
    2. September 2012 at 23:50

    Jrue needs to improve more in several areas on the court. Every game is different and some games he will have to distribute the ball more, or shoot from the outside more, or drive more. Hopefully he improves on all three from last year. His leadership is the most important thing. With the exit of Brand and Iggy, Jrue needs be the leader of the team. He has done a good job of leading so far, and hope he continues.

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