Missing close to three months with an injury, Jrue Holiday has come back just in time to help the New Orleans Pelicans make the playoffs and who knows, maybe keen on creating shockwaves in the postseason.
Holiday was out from mid January until the first week of April, suiting up and playing in the win of the Phoenix Suns (two points in 16 minutes), the loss to the Rockets (17 points in 15 minutes) and most importantly, 11 points and four assists in 25 minutes as the Pelicans beat the Spurs on the final day of the season to clinch the playoff spot, coming with two key free throws from the point guard.
Holiday isn’t going back to the starting lineup. Monty Williams used Tyreke Evans as his starter at point guard (despite the never ending argument about his true, natural position) and Norris Cole as the backup. The training staff limited Holiday to 15 minutes in order to keep his fitness issue from deteriorating, but at this stage of the season, restrictions aren’t always looked at carefully.
I needed him to play against San Antonio. This could have been our last night of the season. What are we holding off for? He looked great. He will probably have some soreness tomorrow — but look, man; you do what you have to do to win games.
Holiday is averaging 14.8 points and 6.9 assists per game this season, or the part of it he managed to play in. He won’t get more than 20-25 minutes a night in the playoffs, but if isn’t in pain from previous games and thanks to no back-to-back situations and actually more rest, at least in the early rounds, Williams won’t have to think about training staff instructions when he wants use Holiday in games, especially late in them.