Blog Entry

NBA Draft Prospect: PG Jrue Holiday, UCLA

Posted on: May 26, 2009 8:04 pm
Edited on: May 29, 2009 11:51 pm
 

Jrue Holiday: 6-3, 180 PG/SG, Fr. (University of California, Los Angeles)

Draft Rank: #12

PG Rank: #6

Strengths:

Has tremendous scoring ability. Can use either hand and a crossover dribble to create space for himself to score. Very quick. Combo guard who plays with a selfless mentality. Can pass with the left or the right. Has a very nice bounce pass that he uses with regularity when players are open. Plays very good defense and doesn't take plays off. Plays within a system and doesn't force his offense when others are open. Can break a player down one-on-one and get into the lane with ease. Finishes high above the rim. Has very good handles for a guard. Has a good release and mechanics on his jump shot. Is tremendous in transition where he can handle, rise up to the rim, or pass to his teammates. Often becomes a difference maker when the ball is in his hands.

Weaknesses:

Still makes poor decisions at times. Not a pure point guard. Doesn't do a great job off the ball in order to create for himself. Didn't take over for his team like they needed him to. Didn't improve his teammates' play when he was on the floor. Needs to show that he can consistently make shots from the perimeter. Needs to become more consistent in his overall game. Needs to become more assertive and show he has the ability to lead.

Mental:

Despite the fact he has star talent, he bought into the team mentality and didn't play a selfish brand of basketball. That was a testament to his character and how he puts the team before his own statistics. With that being said, I am worried he doesn't have the lead-guard mentality you need from a point guard. He didn't rise up and take over for UCLA and they really needed him to do so. There is a fine line between being selfless and not being assertive, which will come back to haunt you if you're not careful at the next level. His numbers obviously won't blow you away, and they are a concern as he will have to assert himself amongst NBA grown men.

Extra Info:
--
2008 National High School player of the year

Comparison: Sleepy Floyd (right), 6-3, 170, PG

Would be a good fit for:  Sacramento Kings, Milwaukee Bucks or Indiana Pacers

Conclusion:

He should be a player in the league for many years to come. The question will be in what capacity? I think he will be a very effective combo guard who primarily brings up the ball for his team. However, he may fall into that backup guard role and be used as a sparkplug off the bench (a la Leandro Barbosa, Jason Terry, or a Flip Murray type). I worry he won't assert himself enough to deserve starting minutes and that he will accept his role as a bench player.

I watched some film recently of an NBA classic game where Sleepy Floyd was playing for the Golden State Warriors. When watching the game it hit me that he really reminded me of Holiday. When watching Floyd he made getting to the rim and scoring look extremely easy. Holiday has a very similar build and scores in a similar fashion to the way Floyd did. Like Floyd, I see him as a scoring point guard.

I love Holiday's balance and ability to bring a variety of skills to the table. He is a top-10 talent, but his lack of production last year in college really scares me. I know he was in a defensive system and had to play the 2 because of Collison, but you still want to see more production from a lottery pick. His team also struggled a lot this year and he should've been able to take over games and lead them. He was at his best when he had the ball in his hands when Collison was out of the game and hopefully he will go to a team that needs him to carry the load for them. His talent is undeniable and his ability to not only score, but also to defend makes him a commodity as a guy with a very high ceiling.

I would love to see him go back to school this year and show what he can do as the lead guard for UCLA. He still has a ways to go to prove that he can be a true point guard. But with a weak draft I can understand why it would make sense for him to come out now. I also think that the NBA will cater to his style of play and the best is yet to come for Holiday.

Category: NBA
Comments

Since: Feb 26, 2007
Posted on: June 19, 2009 2:40 am
 

NBA Draft Prospect: PG Jrue Holiday, UCLA

Sleepy Floyd? Did you ever see Sleepy or Holiday play? I think they were both 6-3 other than that Jrue ain't no Sleepy.



Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: June 6, 2009 12:04 am
 

NBA Draft Prospect: PG Jrue Holiday, UCLA

Holiday is an exceptional player. He was not allowed to showcase his ability playing off the ball. He has excellent court vision, a strong handle and will excel as a professional. After seeing him in high school he was comparable to Baron Davis, not as athletic, but a strong, physical point with a consistent jumper. Holiday is very coachable and deferred to Darren Collison. UCLA runs a structured offense, but coach Howland would allow Holiday some isolation sets and he got to the basket easily and could finish. He is a capable defender, but is prone to reaching. Holiday would be an exceptional fit in the systems run by the Knicks, Raptors, Pacers or Suns.




Since: Oct 24, 2008
Posted on: June 1, 2009 12:06 am
 

NBA Draft Prospect: PG Jrue Holiday, UCLA

I agree with you on the potential thing...you also have to look at how many mins. a player averaged in their freshman season. If you have starter minutes then you should have starter stats. Westbrook averaged less than 10 mins per game as a freshman and over 30 mins per as a soph. Holiday averaged almost 30 mins per game as a freshman so you can't compare the two. The wrong players are getting praised for the wrong reasons. 
This is not an attack on Holiday at all, only an attack on how some proven players get knocked just because they are 1-2 years older than others with "potential" who haven't proven themselves. I do understand that the NBA draft is all about potential. Case and point: Joe Alexander got drafted in the lottery by Milwaukee and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute wasn't even listed on the mock draft. Luc ended up being a starter and a major contributor for Milwaukee while Alexander sat the bench all year. They drafted Alexander because he had "potential" but they played Luc because they wanted to win. Alexander gets over $3 Million a year.....Luc gets around $700k.....wtf? Seems like potential is worth a hell of alot more than skills these days. "ALL POTENTIAL MEANS IS YOU'RE NOT DOING IT NOW!"
Being able to play now is often overlooked. That why you see the same teams at the top of the lottery every year. Its funny how teams expect coaches to win right away, but they draft players who won't produce until later....kind of backwards don't you think. If a team wants to be good now, they need players who can produce now. You need "reality" players (players who can play right now)....not "fantasy" (players who might be able to play someday). The trailblazers selected Greg Oden.....just think if they had selected Durant to play opposite of Roy? Damn! 
Coaches and GM's could be out of a job by the time their projects complete themselves. Why risk your job on a player who might be good? I think thats the reason some players go early....because they know they can fool a desperate team into thinking they're the next "so and so" its all hype. The crazy thing is by the time the player becomes good and starts winning, they are either with another team or another coach. 
If you build a team of players with potential then you will be frustrated and you will loose. Build a team of hungry, hardworking professionals and you can win. And it will cost way less money. Its all about money...Teams look for potential ticket sales, what they fail to realize is if you win. you play more games....more ticket sales....not rocket science. Take Brandon Jennings for example, he will amaze you with globetrotter-like ability but can he win? His team will either be horrible...or if their any good he will be on the bench (his Euro coach had it figured out) He will be like another Jason Williams (White Chocolate) all flashy, highlight plays with very little PG substance.. Some of these GMs don't really know Basketball from a winning standpoint...they just treat it like the entertainment business.
Basically what i'm saying is players that can do it now are being overlooked by players who might be able to do it later....what sense does that make? 



Since: Apr 29, 2009
Posted on: May 31, 2009 9:43 pm
 

NBA Draft Prospect: PG Jrue Holiday, UCLA

Great points by all.  Just for the record, I never saw Hoiday play in High School so I am not sure how you could say I wrote this based on his high school play.  

I would like to reiterate my stance on Holiday in response to a lot of the comments above.  

As far as his skills he has good shooting mechanics, good size, quickness and an overall game that should translate in the NBA.  I also think he had trouble adjusting to the 2 at UCLA and as a result sturggled whe he didn't have the ball in his hands.   Collison often dominated the ball in the half court set which didn't allow Holiday do what he does best, break down a defense.  Holiday was often at his best with Collison on the bench and when he was running the point. 
 
With all of that said, I like Holiday, but I am not in love with him.  I think he is an intriguing prospect but I have him as the 12th best prospect in an underwhelming draft.  Sometimes it's best to remember that guys do improve and unfortunately teams have to predict how they will improve in the NBA.  Go look up Deron Williams (6.3 PPG), Russell Westbrook (3.4 PPG), Maurice Williams (10.4 PPG), Rajon Rondo (8.1 PPG) and Aaron Brooks (7 PPG) stats their Freshman years.  My point is not that Holiday will be as effective as those players, but that those are  examples of guys who also didn't put up big numbers their freshman year.  It often takes time for point guards to grow and you have to go partially on potential.  If the draft was based solely on college stats and production then Khalid El Amin and Mateen Cleaves would be the two best point guards in the NBA right? 
 
I think Holiday will be in the NBA for many years to come just based on his natural abilities, but I am not sure he will be a starter. 
 
Clearly he has a lot to work on and needs to have more confidence in himself, but he is definitely a  point guard with tremendous upside.
 
Once again thanks for the feedback. 

-Brian



Since: Oct 24, 2008
Posted on: May 31, 2009 12:35 pm
 

NBA Draft Prospect: PG Jrue Holiday, UCLA

I wouldn't say he is terrible by any means. He just isn't polished. You can't compare him to Collison. They play two different positions and NBA teams will expect different things from both. Holiday is a combo guard. Not skilled enough to play pg, not big enough to play SG. NOT NEAR AS ATHLETIC AS WESTBROOK, NOT HALF AS QUICK AS COLLISON. I don't know many successful teams that have combo guards as there starting PG. So I believe he will be a backup on an average team and maybe a starter on a terrible team just like OJ Mayo (but hes not as good as Mayo). I would compare him to Javaris Crittenton. He won't do much out of the gate. He has not proven himself to be a top College player. Didn't even make any of the all conference teams. The freshman from Washington was better than him. If you didn't know he was a Mc Donald's All American, you wouldn't have guessed it. He is basically sneaking into the league based on potential. If his strengths were all that you say they are then he surely would have averaged more than 8 ppg. I challenge anyone to show me statistically how he is better than Collison, Teague, Flynn, Lawson, Mills, Maynor, etc???



Since: Aug 17, 2008
Posted on: May 30, 2009 11:40 pm
 

NBA Draft Prospect: PG Jrue Holiday, UCLA

BUYER BEWARE!!!! - SOMEONE WILL DRAFT HIM IN THE FIRST ROUND AND SOMEONE WILL HAVE WASTED A PICK!!!!  HE IS TERRIBLE!!!  HIS TRANSITION TO COLLEGE SHOWS THAT HE IS AN AVERAGE PLAYER AGAINST BETTER COMPETITION.  COLLISON HAS TWICE THE HEART AND TWICE THE TALENT!



Since: Apr 21, 2008
Posted on: May 29, 2009 5:32 pm
 

NBA Draft Prospect: PG Jrue Holiday, UCLA

Except for the Conclusion, this sounded as if you wrote this based on Holiday's performance in High School - not at UCLA.  As for the Sleepy Floyd comparisons, he's more Sidney Moncrief than Sleepy, because of his defensive potential and his build.  I question whether Holiday will be able to score effectively at the next level, since he is so unselfish; he may be a guy who winds up being more of a "stat sheet stuffer" than a true go-to player.  You're right about one thing, though:  he definitely should have gone back to UCLA to be the Man, 'cause his game and confidence took a big hit this year (didn't even average 10ppg on a team that definitely needed his scoring down the stretch and in the NCAA's).   Time will tell . . . .


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