There’s no way that the Philadelphis 76ers could have expected the season that Jrue Holiday is having this year. In his first three seasons in the NBA, Holiday had averaged just 9.7 points, 4.1 assists and 1.1 steals per game for his career. He was essentially just an average player before this season.
However, Holiday as emerged as a potential superstar this year. For the season, he’s averaging 19 points and 8.8 assist per game, both of which are career-highs, as well as averaging 1.5 steals per game. He’s also shooting 45 percent from the field and has added 4.2 rebounds per game. He’s looked like a completely different, as well as better, player.
The problem is that the Sixers haven’t given him any help. There are plenty of players like Evan Turner, Thaddeus Young and Nick Young that are nice complimentary players in Philadelphia, but there are no players that are able to consistently help carry the load with Holiday.
This is largely due to the knee injury that Andrew Bynum has been recovering from this entire season. Bynum has had numerous setbacks this season regarding the injury, including the bizarre bowling incident, and his return is still surrounded by questions.
If he was on the floor though, this Sixers team would be significantly better. Spencer Hawes has been playing the bulk of Philadelphia’s minutes at center and has averaged just 10.1 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. Last season with the Los Angeles Lakers, Bynum averaged 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds per game. Bynum would give the 76ers obvious help in their frontcourt and make them a better team.
More than that, he would probably make Holiday’s numbers even better. Right now, Holiday has the 10th highest usage rate in the league at 27.1 percent. What that largely means is that he is doing the bulk of the work, which sometimes means he’s forced into taking bad shots. If Bynum were on the floor, it seems like a strong possibility that Holiday would be able to shoot at a higher percentage and his assist number would probably rise as well.
Holiday is having easily the best season of his career, but Philadelphia is just 22-30 this year. If there’s one thing that’s for certain, their losing record is in no way Holiday’s fault.