No matter the vote, Jrue Holiday is as good as it gets defensively

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Jrue Holiday, Kevin Durant
(Photo: Stephen Lew)

The NBA announced it’s All-Defensive teams Wednesday. Last season the New Orleans Pelicans had two members on the All-Defensive First Team; this year they have none.

With Anthony Davis curtailing his own awards campaign with his trade request, his omission wasn’t a surprise.

Jrue Holiday’s relegation to the Second Team this season is nothing short of a snub.

It is an honor nonetheless, as Jrue becomes only the third player in franchise history to earn multiple All-Defensive Team honors, joining Davis (three times) and Chris Paul (twice).

Holiday also earns a nice $100K bonus for the honor, giving him a total of $1.1 million in incentives this season.

Per a release by the Pelicans, Holiday was one of only four guards to rack up at least 300 rebounds, 100 steals and 50 blocks (joining James Harden, Ben Simmons, Bradley Beal):

“During the season, Holiday contested more field goal attempts per game (14.2) than any other guard in the NBA, and opposing players’ field goal percentage dropped by 0.7-percent on shot attempts defended by Holiday.

Holiday also had a defensive real plus-minus (1.28) that was significantly better than that of first team selection Eric Bledsoe (1.04). Bledsoe also had the luxury of playing on the NBA’s best defense in Milwaukee. Meanwhile, Holiday was being consistently excellent though his team was 23rd defensively.

Ten points separated Holiday and Bledsoe, so team success was probably the deciding factor for media members. Still, there aren’t many who get to watch Holiday on a daily basis who would dare to say that Jrue isn’t the best at what he does.

Holiday isn’t the type to beat his chest or seek out attention. He has repeatedly stated that the respect of his peers for his defense means more than any award.

It’s clear that he has that. Ask Kevin Durant. Or Paul George. Or any of the number of elite scorers that had their lives made miserable for 48 minutes by No. 11.

The good news is that Jrue Holiday is appreciated in New Orleans. He’s made watching him lockdown an opposing scorer as fun as an alley-oop or no-look pass.

With the Pelicans poised for a rebound through all levels of the organization, and quite possibly for years to come, Holiday should remain a fixture on the All-Defensive teams.

Exactly where he belongs.

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David Grubb

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David Grubb has more than a decade of experience in the sports industry. He began his career with KLAX-TV in Alexandria, La. and followed that up with a stint as an reporter and anchor with WGGB-TV in Springfield, Mass. After spending a few years away from the industry, David worked as sports information director for Southern University at New Orleans…

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