Jrue Holiday among top-ranked players in NBA

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Jrue Holiday

There are a ton of opinions about who the best and the most valuable players in the now quiet NBA.

There are so many factors to consider, including offensive efficiency, defensive efficiency, rebounding, blocked shots and assists.

One of the most significant rating entities to take a good lock at can be found at FiveThirtyEight.com.

That website has traditionally focused on political analysis, economics, polls and other analysis but in recent times, the site has focused on sports.

Here is a link to the most recent rankings.

The ratings were updated daily through March 12, stopping after play was stopped league-wide due to COVID-19.

The ratings calculate individual player’s plus-minus measurements and wins above replacement (WAR), accounting the each player’s playing time.

The players eligible include those who have played in at least 70 percent of their team’s games and average at least 24 minutes or playing half of a game.

As a result, Zion Williamson does not qualify but based on the projections and math used, Williamson would be top 30, if not top 20 already.

James Harden of the Rockets is No. 1 with a 13.9 WAR. LeBron James of the Lakers is second at 11.2. Giannis Antetokounmpo of Milwaukee is third at 11.0 with Kawhi Leonard is fourth at 10.1 and Rudy Gobert, recovering from the coronavirus, is fifth at 9.8.

Who is the highest ranked Pelican?

Jrue Holiday is ranked No. 12 at 7.4 WAR, trailing only the top five and Damian Lillard, Luka Doncic, Anthony Davis, Nikola Jokic, Jaysom Tatum and Jimmy Butler, who rank Nos. 6-11.

When you consider that Holiday has a complete game, including being the best on-the-ball defender on the New Orleans squad, it is not a surprise.

Perhaps it is a surprise to see Holiday ranked so highly, among the top 12 players in the league.

In his 11th season in the league at the age of 29, Holiday is averaging 19.6 points, 6.9 assists, 4.9 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 0.8 blocks per game. He has played in 55 of the 64 games the Pelicans have played this season.

The next Pelican on the list is Brandon Ingram, tied at No. 63 at 3.8 WAR. Derrick Favors checks in at No. 68 at 3.4. Holiday is shooting 45.2 percent from the field, 35.5 percent from 3-point range and 70 percent from 3-point range.

After Favors, the next New Orleans player is Lonzo Ball at No. 104 who is at 2.5 WAR. Josh Hard is just behind him at No. 106 at 2.5. JJ Redick is at No. 155 at 1.6. Redick would be higher with a very good offensive number but he has a low ranked defensive rating.

E’Twaun Moore checks in at No. 193 at 0.7 WAR and Jaxson Hayes is at No. 219 with a -0.2 WAR.

Of the players who see significant playing time other than Williamson, Nicolo Melli did not make the top 250.

Let us hope we get to see Holiday, Williamson, Ingram and all of the Pelicans sometime again this season.

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Ken Trahan

Ken Trahan

Chief Executive Officer

Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…

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