Miami has the series against Philadelphia in the bag. Last night, Philly had a legitimate chance to win the game at home, but they could not keep the relentless Heat off of the offensive glass. No team has ever came back from a 3 to 0 deficit in the NBA Playoffs. I do not see this 76ers team putting an end to that definitive stat.
But I will state this. I am thoroughly impressed with their 2nd year point guard, Jrue Holiday. I will admit I was quite skeptical when this guy left for the League after just one year at UCLA. He was just another kid coming out way too early (so I thought). Another guy that needed a year more in college to progress before being ready to take his talents to the next level. I will admit that I was way off in reading how things would play out for the 20 year-old out of Cali.
The guy has game. And last night was another exhibition of just how ready this kid actually was. In Game 3, Holiday put up 20 points, to go with 8 assists, and only 2 turnovers. The man has been one of the lone bright spots for the 76ers in this series. On the year, Holiday filled up the stat sheet on a night basis.
2010/2011 Stat Line: 14PPG, 6.5APG, and 4RPG
Those are very solid numbers. And the guy is only 20 years old. You better believe that he will continue to get better with time.
When watching the 2009 NBA Draft, the 76ers took the freshman out of UCLA with the 17th pick in the 1st round. I remember what a horrible pick I thought this was initially. I even thought his former backcourt mate, Darren Collison, who was in the same draft class, should have been selected ahead of him. I mean Holiday’s stats at UCLA were far from flattering. He averaged just 8.5PPG, to go with a little less than 4APG. Now these are solid numbers for a freshman at any big time program, such as a UCLA. But were they really first round worthy?
This is why I am not a scout that makes projections and decisions for various teams come NBA Draft time. It is very hard to predict how guys will pan out. Well Philadelphia had it right with Jrue. There must have been a reason why this guy coming out of high school was the top rated prep player by numerous major recruiting services and was the 2008 Gatorade Player of the Year. I expect this young rising star to only get better and possibly even turn into a perennial All Star within the next couple of years.
He has truly exceeded expectations to this point in my eyes. Or at least the expectations I had for him as a professional.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.