Jrue Holiday is widely considered to be one of the best defensive players in the NBA, but the league did not acknowledge him as such this season. Some of the New Orleans Pelicans guard’s peers are baffled by that.
The NBA announced its All-Defensive First and Second Teams on Tuesday, and Holiday did not make the cut. That left players around the league scratching their heads. JJ Redick, Holiday’s teammate, tweeted that Holiday was snubbed because it is “nearly unanimous” that he’s considered the best defensive guard in the NBA. Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard agreed.
Beyond a snub . https://t.co/cxklDjN4tJ
— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) September 9, 2020
Ben Simmons and Marcus Smart were the two guards on the All-Defensive First Team. Patrick Beverley, Eric Bledsoe and Kawhi Leonard made the Second Team.
Holiday’s teammates have said he is one of the most underrated players in the NBA. Lillard and Redick discussed the topic about a month ago on Redick’s “The Old Man and The Three” podcast, when Lillard called Holiday “the best defender in the league” among guards.
The Pelicans swept Lillard’s Portland Trail Blazers in the first round of the playoffs two years ago, so Lillard’s opinion holds weight. Holiday made life miserable for him in that series, holding Lillard to 18.5 points per game on 35 percent shooting from the field.
There are always going to be snubs when awards are handed out, but Holiday’s seems particularly egregious given the way his fellow players feel about him.