For a short period of time Collins also coached the best PG of All-Time. A player who was like a maestro, who would make CP3 and Magic seem ordinary. However, this player didn’t last long as a point guard, because that player was Michael Jordan.
Asked to play the point, Jordan had a 21 game stretch over the 1989 season, where he averaged 11.4 assists and 3.6 turnovers, while having 11 triple-doubles in 13 games at one point. Over the course of that season, Jordan averaged 8 assists per game and had a 2.25 : 1 assist:turnover ratio. That MJ-point guard experiment of course did not last. Still, Jordan’s time as a floor general makes me think when I see Holiday play, that Jrue is being miscast.
Through some research, I have discovered as my eye test has hypothesized: Jrue is an All-Star combo guard
Holiday in my estimation has been in the PG role for far too many games in his career. To truly reach his potential, the ball needs to be put in Evan Turner’s hands night in and night out. That is why he was drafted, right? It’s within the realm of possibility that Holiday could be a 22 pts., 3.5 rebs., 6 assist combo guard. The best attribute that Jrue Holiday has is that he can score the basketball. While 30+ points like in Sunday night’s performance is a lot to ask, he can certainly be a 22+ point scorer on a nightly basis and do it efficiently. Obviously that would really help the Sixers become a better team.
Over a 70 game sample, here are Holiday’s numbers when taking 14 shots or more in a game.
6-12.5 from 2 (47.72%)
1.3-3.4 from 3 (38.91%)
2.1-2.6 FT (80.44%)
18pts, 3.5 reb, 6.5 assists, 1.7 STL+BLK, 2.5 Turnovers
This goes all the way back to his rookie season. The first thing that you’ll notice is that based on my assumptions, he only scores at 80% of where I think that he could be. You will also notice that Jrue only takes 3.4 shots from 3 over this same and his free throw rate is extremely low. As for the free throws, he is averaging more than 1.1 extra free throw per game this season compared to these numbers and that number would surely grow with a role that involves attacking the basket on a more consistent basis. Holiday could easily end the season at 4 free throw attempts per game. That’s 1.1 points added to his total on average.
His 3pt shooting is the change truly needs to be made. Three point shooting is the #1 thing that Holiday does well. He is a career 38% shooter with over 600 three-point attempts. He % actually increases in games that he takes 3+ attempts per game as evidenced by the numbers above. A guy like Jrue should be taking and making 3s at a rate that would have him in the top 10 each season in both categories. While that seems like a stretch, it really isn’t. Five attempts from long distance isn’t a stretch for a #1 scoring option or #2 option with a dominant big man in the fold. That’s especially true for a guy who can move as well and handle the rock like Holiday. As old as he is, Ray Allen still gets open for 3PAs by using screens and hustle, Holiday for damn well sure can do the same.
It’s no secret that NBA players have a peak that generally manifests itself around the age of 27. (Quick Note, Regardless of what happens with Bynum, please hope the team doesn’t sign Al Jefferson who will be 29 next season and is basically Carlos Boozer). Which certainly bodes well for Holiday as he is only 22, contrary to Joshua Harris’ belief that he is “23 or 24”.
When you’re best attribute on the offensive side of the basketball is scoring the ball efficiently, it certainly seems like that should be what you are doing on a nightly basis. Holiday has all the necessary tools to have a good career as a point, but he will excel and make multiple All-Star teams as a guy who scores the ball as a combo guard while dishing out 5+ assists on a nightly basis. Guys like Kobe and Wade have been what Holiday can be, albeit on a lesser scale. More importantly, Doug Collins figured that out 20+ years ago with Michael Jordan, at what point will he figure it out with Jrue Holiday?