The marquee addition of the Boston Celtics offseason, Jrue Holiday, has a game “reminiscent” to Marcus Smart’s peak with the team — presumably referring to the departed but enduring fan-favorite’s 2021-22 Defensive Player of the Year campaign that preceded the C’s 2022 NBA Finals run — according to the staff of Celtics Wire.
“While Holiday may not be the same sort of dive-for-loose-balls maniac Smart made a name for himself in Boston doing, the UCLA alum’s more even-keeled approach to excellence on both ends of the court is reminiscent of the best of Smart’s tenure with the Celtics,” Celtics Wire wrote.
Holiday is undoubtedly a superior offensive option to Smart, though at 33 years old, he may be a downgrade defensively. Interestingly enough, Joe Mazzulla may be looking to preserve Holiday for the long haul by bringing him off the bench; with Al Horford starting alongside Kristaps Porzingis and Derrick White manning the point during the preseason opener.
Jrue Holiday acquisition was a must for Boston Celtics’ front office
Even if Holiday misses time due to injury, a distinct possibility considering he hasn’t played close to a full season since his days with the New Orleans Pelicans, acquiring him after trading away Smart was a great goodwill play to the fanbase for the front office.
The loss of Smart is going to be noticeable on nights Holiday is missing, and even on days when he’s on the floor. By that same token, Holiday’s offensive repertoire will be a new backcourt experience; since even the top scoring point guards (Kyrie Irving, Isaiah Thomas) of the Celtics’ past didn’t have the kind of post-up game Holiday has as a more physical guard.
With a former champion now on the roster, the Cs may be equipped with everything they need in the starting five and close to everything at the depth chart’s lower spots.
Brad Stevens and Co. have work to do, but they already made the needed trade to save face by landing Holiday.