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Bucks’ Jrue Holiday showed off his all-around skills in back-to-back wins

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Milwaukee – when dollars Protect Jrue holiday Scores at home games DJ Shawna, DJ Bucks in-arena DJ, plays a chorus snippet from “Rich Flex,” the first track from the collaborative album Drake and 21 Savage released last November, to fans at the Fiserv Forum. This excerpt begins with Drake asking his collaborator a simple question: “21, can you do something for me?”

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Holiday wears No. 21, so the song has been a natural fit at Bucks games these past few months, but for the past few games, the question Drake asked in the first line of the chorus just wasn’t quite right. With Giannis Antikonmo Missing four consecutive games with left knee ache and Chris Middleton They still had a sore right knee, and the Bucks didn’t need a vacation just to do something for them; They needed more. In recent games, the Bucks have needed Holiday to do everything for them. To his credit, that veteran ranger has delivered.

“Obviously we’re a little bit down and carrying a little bit and he’s moved up a notch,” Bucks coach Mike Bodenholzer said after Tuesday’s game. “It’s two games in a row, just Jrue Holiday. He just looks like he’s bouncing around, he’s got the pop and the way he hits the ball. And when he gets to the rim and the paint and gives us that presence too, he just does it all.”

In a Bucks 130-122 win over wild birds On Tuesday, Rich Flex shot 16 different times at the Fiserv Forum speakers as Holiday hit 16 of his 26 shots on his way to 37 points. He could have played a dozen times more for everything else Holiday has done as he also added six rebounds, seven assists, two steals and one block in leading the Bucks to their second win in as many nights.

When Milwaukee retook the lead in the second half with a 15-6 lead to open the third quarter, Holiday was the one to catch a huge defensive rebound, drive the ball to the ground and create an open 3 for Brook Lopez (19 points, 2 blocks).

And when the Bucks needed to finish off the win with defensive stops late in the game, Holiday was the one who made his way to the floor and made the best impression on Giannis Antetokounmpo, Fred VanVleet Try to roll the finger on the chasing block.

Whatever dollars needed in the second half, Holiday managed to provide. Clutch played all night and kept Milwaukee in control from the moment they took the lead five minutes into the third quarter.

“The East is really good this year and we’ve been floating in the second range; you don’t do it in a tough conference without two All-Stars on your team,” he said. Grayson Allen (25 points, five rebounds) he said after Tuesday’s game. “And Jrue has been consistent for us. He’s an All-Star.”

When asked what makes a player an All-Star in NBA After the match, Holiday claimed he did not know. It’s a logical answer from someone who was named an All-Star in his fourth season as a 22-year-old in 2013, but hasn’t been since, despite being universally recognized by players and coaches alike as one of the two best- The way players in the NBA. He assumed you need to score a lot of points and pull off plays to be an All-Star, things he doesn’t feel like he usually does, before realizing that’s exactly what he did last week with Antetokounmpo on the sidelines.

In the four games Antetokounmpo missed, Holiday averaged 27 points, 4.8 rebounds and 9.8 assists in 35.3 minutes per game. He shot 59.4 percent from the field and 48.3 percent on 7.3 3-point attempts per game.

To be clear, Holiday can still make amazing defensive plays like the stalking block he had in the final two minutes of Tuesday’s game or this ridiculous steal and one-on-one save from VanVleet that helped the Bucks preserve their lead.

But his stellar defense isn’t exactly what opposing coaches stand out for at the moment as they put together their scouting report.

“Right now, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen him as aggressive as I’ve seen him. Like he goes really early,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said before the game. Go fast. Climb up in the side and look to score. Down the middle, up the side, back. And if he doesn’t get those, he’s dancing a lot more than I remember going back 3 seconds to. He’s just saying, “While these guys are out, I have to be very aggressive.” And he does that and plays with a tremendous amount of confidence and freedom, it seems, right there. It’s not really what it is, but it’s been impressive this last period for sure.”

When the Bucks needed a bucket late in the game on Tuesday, they put the ball in Holiday’s hands and let him go to work.

In the last four games, the Bucks have faced three defenses willing to switch and play in the zone and do everything they can to keep their opponents off the three-point line with a strong defense at the point of offense. And while Milwaukee struggled with those defenses in the first half of each of the last two games, it broke offensively when it let Holidays run the show.

and anunobe He is an advocate for quality. The Bucks didn’t get much possession above, but it didn’t matter because Holiday got to a spot he liked and hit a tricky shot on a fading tiered jump from the corner. There is nothing easy about this shot, but Holiday still makes it because of the tempo he’s been on lately.

“Jrue was obviously amazing and amazing,” Lopez said. “What’s amazing about Jrue is that he makes the hardest shots, at the highest difficulty level, look so easy. It just gives you, like, you have the feeling of him taking one of those shots of, ‘Oh, that’s nothing. It’s supposed to be. I don’t know, it’s really cool. I’m just on the court watching him like, ‘Okay, Jrue step, behind the backboard. And figure it out. Go the other way.'”

This is just a silly shot to make with the game hanging in the balance.

The Bucks set up a highball display and a double for Holiday and the Raptors blew it right away by switching Pascal I’m sorry in vacation. But the veteran goalkeeper was undeterred. He read the switch and slashed the defenders, as if trying to pull off a blitz, and put Siakam on his back. When Siakam reached to try to deflect his dribble, Holiday switched the ball from his right hand to his left to throw Siakam out of position and then hit him a step back 3 times.

The high-speed handling required to make the move without turning the ball over was amazing, but pulling it off and then hitting the ball was something you would see outside Stephen Curry. But that’s just the groove I found last weekend.

No. 21 was doing it all for the Bucks right now and they needed every bit of it to get the wins on back-to-back nights in Milwaukee.


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(Jrue Holiday photo: Jeff Hanisch/USA Today)

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