Jrue Holiday Suddenly Turning Into Eric Bledsoe Is Shaping Up To Be A Disaster For The Bucks

Nathaniel S. Butler. Getty Images.

After the Bucks lost in the 2nd round in the 2019-20 playoffs, it was fair to say that Bucks fans were done with the Eric Bledsor experiment. They watched him throw up 11.7/4.6/5.9 on 38/25% shooting right after the previous year of him going 41/23%. In fact, in his 3 year Bucks career, Eric Bledsoe averaged 13.1/3.9/4.6 on 41/25% shooting. It was a clear weakness in their postseason play. So they did what you would have expected. Remember, at this time they had to do everything possible to keep Giannis happy so that he would sign his supermax extension. They put all their eggs (and their future) into the Jrue Holiday basket. This past offseason, here was what they gave up for a player who they hoped would be a much better option at point guard not only during the regular season, but also the playoffs

Eric Bledsoe

George Hill

2020 1st (via IND)

2024 right to swap

2025 1st unprotected

2026 right to swap

2027 1st unprotected

They then inked Holiday to a 4/134M extension which officially locked in their core of Giannis/Middleton/Holiday moving forward. When it came to the regular season, Holiday looked like a perfect fit. A nice 17.7/4.5/6.1 average on 50/39% splits with legit on ball defense. You could check that box off, but as we know when it comes to the Bucks it's all about their postseason play. The hope was that the curse of Eric Bledsoe would finally be lifted now that they upgraded their point guard spot. Well…the thing is, it didn't go anywhere

That's both pretty damn eerie as well as a huge problem. After a 7-21 performance last night in a Game 2 loss, Holiday is now shooting 31/16% so far in the NBA Finals. He's had a weird playoffs to some degree, the Bucks aren't even in the Finals if not for his MONSTER Games 5&6 in the ECF, and he had some huge makes down the stretch of Game 7 against the Nets as well. But the reality is the Bucks traded their future and gave a max extension to a guy that production wise has been no different from the player they were supposed to be upgrading from. This would be very frustrating as a Bucks fan because even when Giannis is throwing up historic performances on 1.5 legs


it's the same old story. His help didn't show up. Khris Middleton had a brutal night as well with just 11 points on 5-16, but the bigger story for me is Jrue Holiday. 

It'd be one thing if the issue was just on the offensive end. Unfortunately for the Bucks and their fans, there are issues on the other end as well. Take last night for example. The Bucks finally got Holiday on Chris Paul for a majority of his possessions. A total of 26 possessions, or 51% of the time. Chris Paul finished with 13 points on 5-8 shooting in that matchup. Completely owned it and got wherever and whatever he wanted. That's the real twist of the knife. 

If you're looking for any sort of positive here, I guess you could say the good news is that the series is still early. Maybe going back home and playing in front of his own crowd will snap Holiday out of his funk. He's been better at home to some degree (19 points on 45% shooting) outside of his three point shot. In the ECF at home he was a monster 26.7/4.0/10.0 on 54/45% splits so it's not like he's not capable. If the Bucks have any hope of coming back down 0-2, something that's only been done 4 times in NBA Finals history, they need Jrue Holiday to stop playing like the Bucks version of Eric Bledsoe. That's why they brought him in. That's why they paid a ridiculous price in order to facilitate that trade. 

If he doesn't, this series is a wrap and suddenly the future of the Bucks core becomes a much bigger issue.