Milwaukee Bucks takeaways from MLK Day win against Indiana Pacers

Milwaukee Bucks: Jrue Holiday, Indiana Pacers: Andrew Nembhard, Myles Turner

January 16, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks faced the Indiana Pacers on Martin Luther King Jr. Day early Monday afternoon. The Bucks emerged victorious with a final score of 132-119, Milwaukee trailed as much as 13 points in the first half, this game wasn’t quite as big a comeback as the Bucks’ win over the Knicks last Monday, but it was close enough your turn. The Bucks made their comeback in the third quarter, cutting the Pacers’ lead to five before the final frame.

Let’s look at three takeaways from another comeback win for the Bucks.

Lessons learned from Milwaukee Bucks win over Pacers: Jrue Holiday should be an all-star

Jrue Holiday has had four games without Giannis Antetokounmpo, who has missed three of the last four. In his last four games, Holiday has averaged 24.5 points per game on 35 of 64 shots (54.7 percent) and 12 of 27 from behind the 3-point line (44.4 percent). He also averaged 9.3 assists per game over the same four-game span, averaging double-digit assists in each of his last three games. Monday marked Jrue Holiday’s third consecutive double-double.

Jrue Holiday was a man on a mission against the Pacers, especially in the second half. He scored 21 of his top 35 points of the season in the second half in 9-of-13 shooting, including 3-of-5 from behind the 3-point line. He also dished out six assists and collected a steal in the second half without turning the ball once, which has haunted his stats at times this season. His double-double is a striking stat, but the zero turnovers in the second half are extremely encouraging.

What Makes Holiday an All Star? The Eastern Conference admittedly has many talented, well-known players such as James Harden, Trae Young, Kyrie Irving and Donovan Mitchell among others. However, with another update Eastern Conference voting Jrue Holiday arrives Thursday and arguably earns more than DeMar DeRozan. DeRozan averages 7.3 more points per game, however, Jrue Holiday averages 2.5 more assists per game and surpasses DeRozan’s 3-point percentage by over 11 percent. After DeRozan, a couple of players who are on the ballot more for their popularity than their performance are LaMelo Ball and Derrick Rose, both of whom earned Jrue Holiday an All-Star Over. Last on the Eastern Conference ballot is Darius Garland, who has fairly similar numbers to Holiday but has played alongside Donovan Mitchell all season while Jrue Holiday is putting up big numbers with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton sidelined.

In his only All-Star appearance way back in 2013, Jrue averaged 17.7 points, 8.0 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game with the 76ers. This season, Jrue is averaging 18.8 points, 7.4 assists, and 4.9 rebounds, pretty similar numbers. Regardless of whether he ends up making the All-Star team or not, we’re getting All-Star performance and arguably Jrue Holiday’s best season in a Bucks uniform.