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Jrue Holiday

Accelerating the clock: New Orleans PELICANS Season Preview

Starting Five: PG Jrue Holiday, SG Eric Gordon, SF Al-Farouq Aminu, PF Anthony Davis, C Greg Stiemmsma
 
Key bench players: G/F Tyreke Evans, PF Ryan Anderson, SF Anthony Morrow, C Jeff Withey
 
Offseason additions: Holiday, Evans, Stiemmsma, Morrow
 
Offseason subtractions: PG Greivis Vasquez, C Robin Lopez
 
FACT OR FICTION: “New Orleans Pelicans” has a good ring to it.
 
FICTION. Let’s move on.
 
FACT OR FICTION: The Pelicans did the right thing by trading for Jrue Holiday.
 
FACT. Potential is a funny thing. It’s impossible to put value on an unknown, so it allows us to overvalue just for the sake of doing so. Nerlens Noel, drafted #1 overall by New Orleans but subsequently traded to Philadelphia, is brimming with potential, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Today’s rim protectors are more valuable than ever because the league is moving toward efficient offenses. For example, the pick and roll is designed to give the ball-handler a plethora of options that result in high percentage shots, such as layups, corner 3s, and any open shots that may force the defense to foul. Furthermore, pairing Noel with Anthony Davis would give the Pelicans TWO protectors, which is a sweet fallback whenever the opposing offense forces one of them into a high-PnR situation.… Read more...

Instant Trade Analysis: Jrue Holiday to New Orleans, Nerlens Noel to Philly

Philadelphia 76ers get: C Nerlens Noel, 2014 protected first-round draft pick
 
New Orleans Pelicans get: PG Jrue Holiday, PG Pierre Jackson (2013 42nd overall pick)
 
There were around a dozen trades last night, and similar to the Nets-Celtics deal, this pact between the Sixers and newly christened Pelicans declared a direction for both franchises.
 
The Sixers, a team one win away from the Eastern Conference Finals two seasons ago, were blowing it up.
 
The Pelicans meanwhile, are looking for their rebuilding movement to bear fruit just two years after it started.
 
Whether or not this deal is labeled a win or a bust for Philly completely depends on what you think of Jrue Holiday. The Pelicans’ first ever starting point guard just finished his breakthrough season, leading the Sixers in scoring (17.7 ppg) and assists (8.0 apg) and making his first All-Star game appearance. He was one of the lone bright spots for an awful year in Philadelphia in which Evan Turner’s development once again stagnated, coach Doug Collins resigned and all Andrew Bynum headlines revolved around his hair. Holiday was a very good, though perhaps not elite, two-way player whose excellent defensive chops resembled how well he orchestrated a limited Philly offense. … Read more...

Fact or Fiction: 2009 NBA Draft Class Contract Extensions

As the country was out giving candy to either children or twenty-something girls that were both curiously wearing the same size costumes, the NBA’s deadline for 2009 Draftee extensions came and went. The draft class ended up with seven different players being offered multi-year deals, while the rest would go on to being restricted free agency next summer. Thus, players like OKC’s Eric Maynor, Sacramento’s Tyreke Evans and Milwaukee’s Brandon Jennings could be extended offer sheets by other teams, only to have them matched by their current squad. 
Before this week, Clippers forward Blake Griffin had been the only 2009 rook to sign an extension, a five year pact worth approximately $95 million. Since then, six of these twenty-somethings have signed within the past few days, four just before the midnight buzzer Wednesday night. 
Resuscitating a feature from THE GREAT MAMBINO’s blog predecessor NYisMecca, we’re going to examine these deals and ask “these young fellows worth the money: Fact or Fiction?”

James Harden: $80 million over 5 years and Blake Griffin: $95 million over 5 years 
2012 stat lines: (Harden) 16.8 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3.7 apg .491/.390/.846 shooting and (Griffin) 20.7 ppg, 10.9 rpg, 3.2 apg .549/.125/.521 shooting
Fact.  Griffin was an open and shut case for an extension here, even with a documented history of knee injuries. By the time this extension even begins, he’ll most be one of the most decorated Clippers in franchise history (two presumed All-Star teams, one 2nd Team All-NBA nod and perhaps another one on the way). This isn’t to speak to Griffin’s still burgeoning potential–he’s got enough room to grow to fit both of Boris Diaw’s boobs–but rather to the dubious distinction which is being a good player on the worst franchise in American sports history. Owner Donald Sterling couldn’t let Blake go no matter what the price was for keeping him. 

Harden has had his detractors the past few days after the trade to Houston, but after his ridiculous 37 point, 12 assist night (even against the lowly Pistons), I can’t imagine there’s very many people yelling “fiction” at his max deal. The Beard is questionably one of the top-20 players in the NBA right now, and could end up being one of it’s 15 best in April. Fact, fact, fact over the validity of this contract.
 
DeMar DeRozan: $40 million over 4 years

2012 stat line: 16.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.0 apg, .422/.261/.810 shooting
(From El Miz)

Hilarious Fiction, on par with the movie Super Troopers.  DeMar can’t create his own shot, doesn’t defend particularly well, and in fact doesn’t really do anything other than dunk particularly well.  In 2014-15 the Raptors owe Landry Fields $8.5 million and DeRozan $10 million (unless its escalates every year, in which case it’ll probably be around $11.25 million) — so they’ll owe at least $18.5 million to two wing players, neither of whom is an elite scorer, neither of whom can even create their own shot. Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo needed to be fired yesterday; how much longer can that guy ride the coattails of Mike D’Antoni and Steve Nash? Toronto should have let DeRozan go to restricted free agency. I highly doubt any other team would give him a contract of this size after another decent but largely uninspiring season from a

one-dimensional player.
Jrue Holiday: $41 million over 4 years
2012 stat line: 14.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 4.5 apg .432/.380/.783 shoot… Read more...

Why do the 76ers have the 4th-best Win % in the NBA?

I know a lot about the NBA. Too much, some would say. I know that Brandon Jennings of YOUR…Milwaukee Bucks shooting 44% this year is way higher than his career average. I know that Portland’s Luke Babbit was traded to the Timberwolves for Martell Webster in 2009. I know that Chandler Parsons of YOUR…Houston Rockets is an extremely versatile small forward, capable of shooting, passing and rebounding with equal proficiency.

YOUR…2011-2012 Philadelphia 76ers have the 4th best winning percentage in the league. They only trail Derrick Rose’s Chicago Bulls and LeBron James’, Dwyane Wade’s and Chris Bosh’s Miami Heat. The red, white and blue juggernaut from eastern Pennsylvania is here, with perennial All-Stars Spencer Hawes, Lou Williams, Jrue Holiday and Jodie Meeks leading the way. Wait…who are these guys?


Collins in his playing days.

Somehow, some way, the Philadelphia 76ers are dominating one team after the next, with home wins over Indiana, Atlanta Orlando, Chicago and the Lakers, and roadies over Atlanta and Phoenix. They are doing this with newly-minted All-Star Andre Iguodala playing below his career averages offensively, and with Lou Williams as their leading scorer…at 15.5 points a game. Spencer Hawes leads the team in rebounds with 8.3 per contest, and Iguodala is the top assist man, at 5.2 a game…a half dime more than point guard Jrue Holiday. It’s a team filled with nobodies and has-beens. The starting lineup would make even the casual NBA fan shrug, and the program-director at ESPN turn the page faster than a WNBA Conference Final. The NBA has always been a league driven by the superstar, and rightfully so; it always seems that the barometer of a team’s success will thrive or wane at the whims of a LeBron, a Kobe, a Michael or a Magic. Without a superstar or even a certifiable All-Star, how are the Sixers doing this? In a nutshell, it’s because coach Doug Collins has gotten all of his players to play to the top of his limited potential.

Looking at their career averages, starters Jodie Meeks, Jrue Holiday and Spencer Hawes and rotation players Lou Williams, Thaddeus Young and Evan Turner are all having the best seasons of their young professional lives. Only Andre Iguodala and Elton Brand (who hasn’t played at an All-Star level since suffering a ruptured Achilles tendon in 2007) are playing below established career numbers.

Digging deeper into who each individual player is, and what skill set he has, it’s easy to see that what these players all have in common. Coach Doug Collins has discovered what exactly each man on his squad does best, and has found a way to harness that particular talent.

For example, Jodie Meeks is a shooter and a scorer. During his time at a pre-Coach Calipari University of Kentucky, Meeks was the Wildcats’ number one offensive option. He was free to take the ball and shoot where he wanted – just like any talented college 2-guard. But in the NBA, defenses closed in on him, and at 6-4, Meeks found it more difficult to find his shot.

Doug Collins recognized Meeks’ strengths and shortcomings, and distilled what exactly would make him an effective NBA player. And what would make him an effective player, was to be the designated shooter from distance. Meeks routinely and lithely moves around the perimeter like a squirrel on a telephone wire, ready to catch and shoot passes from penetrators Lou Williams, Andre Iguodala and Jrue Holiday. He leads the Sixers with 115 3-pointers attempted, which accounts for about 64% of h… Read more...