Jrue Holiday’s Absence from New Orleans Pelicans Could Doom Playoff Chances

Crystal LoGuidice – USA Today Sports Images

The New Orleans Pelicans got some terrible news this week when it was announced that point guard Jrue Holiday has a stress fracture in his tibia and is now out indefinitely due to that injury. This injury comes as another blow to this team’s high hopes for the 2013-14 NBA season.

The Pelicans have already been playing as of late without their sixth man in Ryan Anderson who suffered a herniated disk on a weird play about a week ago where he was in a nasty collision with Gerald Wallace. Now, without Holiday on the floor, this team could really start to go into the tank, though they may not intentionally be tanking.

Holiday’s numbers haven’t been fantastic this season and pale in comparison to his All-Star season with the Philadelphia 76ers last year. In 34 games he has averaged 14.3 points, 7.9 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.6 steals while shooting 44.7 percent from the floor and 39 percent from three. He’s been great, but just hasn’t needed to put up the same high numbers that he did last season.

What’s been fantastic, though, is how positively Holiday has affected this Pelicans team when he’s on the floor. When on the floor, New Orleans has been 1.6 points per 100 possessions defensively, which makes sense considering he’s a pretty good perimeter defender. Offensively has been an even bigger difference as the Pelicans have been 7.8 points per 100 possessions better with Holiday on the floor.

One of the things that Holiday has been great at this season is working in the pick-and-roll with Anthony Davis. He’s made great decisions in those situations and has been able to both score and facilitate well. Considering the indefinite nature of his injury and the Pelicans’ backups in Brian Roberts and Austin Rivers, you have to believe New Orleans will likely fall out of reach of a playoff spot.

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