I refuse to believe this is real. That a real life NBA scout, someone who's job it is to evaluate talent could say those words out loud and actually be serious. I am fully aware that I am just a blogger on the internet and who the fuck am I to try and say I know more than a real life NBA scout. It's not like I don't lack the self awareness to understand how ridiculous that is and makes me look like an asshole. But I'm sorry, I have eyes. First of all, it's important to establish what is considered when talking about a "great" defender. Is it metrics? Are you only a great defender if you make All NBA Defense? Is there more weight on whoever players say is the toughest player to go against? When it comes to defense, shit can get subjective. But that's obviously not the only part of what made that quote so bad. Let's just dive into it all.
If you're a stats person, we can start there. Jrue Holiday has a defensive win share total of 0.113. To help put this into perspective for you, a player I would consider a "great" defender, Ben Simmons, has a DWS of 0.140. In the entire league, Holiday comes in around 20th in DWS. Let me then ask you this. A player like Matisse Thybulle is most likely going to make 2nd Team All NBA Defense. People are starting to describe him as a "great" defender. His DWS is 0.095. There's this guy named Kawhi Leonard, ever heard of him? His DWS is 0.113. The exact same as Holiday. That's just one area to look at, let's keep going. He's tied for 4th in steals, and 8th in deflections (6th among guards).
He's also a 2x All NBA Defender making 1st team in 2017-18 and 2nd team in 2018-19. He's in the conversation for one of the two teams basically every year. You can check that box off too. Then you can factor in what actual NBA players say about Holiday. Guys like Paul George, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, and Damian Lillard all say the same thing. Jrue is their toughest opponent.
So trying to make the case that Jrue Holiday isn't a great defender is just not something I can support. Not when both the metrics, the accolades, and the current superstar player respect clearly suggests the exact opposite.
But then, to take it a step further and say there's basically no difference between Jrue Holiday as a player and Eric Bledsoe? Come on. How can I honestly put any stock into anything you say to me that is even remotely related to basketball. That's taking things way too far. There isn't a huge difference to you in their play? Do you not watch either of these players actually play the sport of basketball? Let's be perfectly clear here. There might not be a single thing that Eric Bledsoe does better than Jrue Holiday on the basketball court. He's not as efficient, he's not a better scorer, he's not a better defender, he's not a better rebounder, he's certainly nowhere close to the playmaker, so it's actually more like a Grand Canyon sized difference between the two.
The sheer fact that they upgraded from Bledsoe to Holiday at the point guard spot is why the Bucks can legitimately make the Finals. I'm not even trying to say that Holiday is some perfect player, but to anyone with eyes you can tell he's sure as shit way the hell better than Eric Bledsoe. Oh Bledsoe was good last year? He averaged 11 points a game shooting 38/25% in the playoffs. He shot 41/25% in his postseason career as a Buck.
Which is why I can't rule out that this was actually a Bucks scout that is using the media as a motivational tactic. Pulling the old Pat Riley. That I can respect. Because I find it simply impossible that an NBA team is currently paying someone for that type of analysis. There's just no way.