Jrue Holiday has rightfully drawn a lot of praise this year. After playing a total of 74 games the last few seasons, he is on pace to appear in the same number of contests in exactly half that length of time. Since the start of December, his performances have been consistently solid, and he topped it all off with this recent game-winner.
His good health, accompanied by newsworthy numbers, have resulted in fans flocking back in support of him and a long-term future in New Orleans. Before the latest trade deadline, reports indicated the Pelicans had absolutely no interest in trading him to another team. Essentially, he was considered off limits, much like our resident superstar, Anthony Davis.
I have no qualms with any of it, but lost amid all the glee, stands one important fact that has seemingly been casually excluded: Jrue Holiday is having a devil of a time making shots from behind the arc. Outside of December's 49.0%, every month has witnessed well below average three-point field goal percentages. In November and January, Holiday shot 32.0%, and just this last month, he finished below the Mendoza Line (19.6%).
Since his arrival in the Crescent City, Holiday had posted a monthly figure worse than 37.3 3FG% just once before this season, but that should summarily be dismissed for issue with small sample size (a 1 for 6 showing in January 2014).
2015-16 is a different story. Putting aside the aberration (December) for a moment, Holiday's three point percentage is an alarming 26.9%. That's out of 134 attempts in over a thousand minutes played. It would qualify for the worst mark on the team, worse than Alonzo Gee's 28.3%.
Cause for concern?
Possibly, but unlikely. Holiday was on a severe minutes restriction earlier in the season, so much so he wasn't allowed to even practice approximately half the time. Consequently, feel -- the ability to ingrain a shooting touch -- was severely hampered. Ask Ryan Anderson about how focusing on rehabilitation during the off-season and needing to work on conditioning throughout a season can affect one's efficiency. (The Flamethrower shot a career low 34.0% from behind the arc last season.)
Holiday's overall 4th quarter field goal percentage sits at 36.6%. Following zero or one days of rest, he has shot poorly, especially from long range.
Remember, Holiday wasn't allowed to play in back-to-back games until Christmas. That 6 game total above occurred during this recent 20+ PER monthly stretch. Lo and behold, Anderson posted easily his worst shooting percentages on no days of rest last year too.
Holiday looks 100% now because it's been so long that he has played without pain. As he admitted, some of his confidence has returned. However, don't mistaken that for being 100%, though, if we're fortunate, we could see that version of Holiday next season.
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