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.
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.
Even the man gracing the cover of “NBA 2K21” cannot seem to get the hang of the game’s new shot meter.
Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard tweeted his initial thoughts on the newly-released game this week. Lillard said that he was struggling with the new shot meter and had not even made a free throw yet.
Am I the only one struggling with this shot meter and I ain’t made a free throw yet
Previous editions of “NBA 2K” had a vertical shot meter that a user had to fill up. This year, the shot meter is now horizontal and requires a user to release the shoot button closer to the middle, which is less intuitive. The margin for error also appears to be significantly less.
Lonzo Ball still has plenty of believers around the NBA, including some of the game’s biggest stars.
Damian Lillard named the New Orleans Pelicans guard as one of his picks to take a big step forward next season when asked by a fan. This didn’t escape Ball’s notice, and he offered up thanks on social media.
Damian Lillard seems to be calling b.s. on a report about LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard.
The Los Angeles Times’ Brad Turner reported on Wednesday night that James and Leonard spoke at the NBA players’ meeting and were adamant about not playing the rest of the NBA playoffs.
Sources: Lakers forward LeBron James and Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard both spoke up in the players meeting Wednesday night and were adamant about not playing the rest of the playoffs and they wanted change. The players will have another meeting at 11 am East time Thursday.
Lillard left Portland’s playoff game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night after hurting his knee in the third quarter. He planted awkwardly while driving to the basket and appeared to tweak his knee, which you can see here. Lillard went back to the locker room, returned to the floor, then went back to the locker room again.
Lillard had 11 points and four assists in 27 minutes prior to exiting. The Blazers lost the game 135-115 and now trail the Lakers 3-1 in the series.
Damian Lillard is set to undergo an MRI for his right knee.
Lillard left Portland’s playoff game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night after hurting his knee in the third quarter. He went back to the locker room, returned to the floor, then went back to the locker room again.
Lillard appeared to tweak his knee awkwardly.
Lillard appeared to injure his knee and went back to the locker room. He would return to the floor, but only play a few possessions before heading to the locker room again… More into to come. pic.twitter.com/SpGDD7rVPu
Yahoo’s Chris Haynes later reported that Lillard would undergo an MRI on his knee.
The Trail Blazers star had 11 points and four assists in 27 minutes. Portland trailed the Lakers by a large margin throughout Game 1 of their first-round playoff series. They entered the game down 2-1 in the series.
Lillard exited the game and was examined on the sideline by a trainer. He ended up heading to the locker room and was later reported to have a dislocated left index finger. He said he would be playing in Game 3.
Lillard had 18 points and shot 6-for-14 including 1-for-7 on threes prior to exiting. The Portland guard has been the hottest player in the bubble, dropping 61 points in one game and demanding respect on his name.
Damian Lillard continued his hot play of late with a 34-point performance on Tuesday night, and he was feeling it.
The Portland Trail Blazers guard was the high scorer in his team’s 100-93 win over the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series. Late in the fourth quarter, he was even shown dancing for a few seconds.
"They played an East Oakland anthem, it was only right I go dumb for a sec."
“They played the East Oakland anthem. So it was only right that I acknowledge the East Oakland anthem and go dumb for a second. And that was it,” Lillard said of his actions after the game. The song he was referring to was Too Short’s “Blow the Whistle.”
Lillard only danced briefly before returning his focus to the game. He continued his hot shooting by going 6-for-13 on threes and a perfect 10-for-10 at the free throw line. Once again, he proved himself to be the Steph Curry of this year’s season by pulling up from long range and making threes.
The Portland Trail Blazers clinched a postseason berth with a win over the Memphis Grizzlies in Saturday night’s play-in game, and many believe they have a great chance to knock off the top-seeded Los Angeles Lakers in the first round. Damian Lillard obviously thinks his team can do it, but he wants to remind everyone that the Lakers have the best record in the Western Conference for a reason.
Lillard led the Blazers with 31 points and 10 assists in their 126-122 win over Memphis. He told reporters after the game that he has heard all the talk about Portland knocking off the Lakers.
“I’ve been seeing everybody saying what we’re going to do to the Lakers,” Lillard said. “The Lakers, they’re the No. 1 seed in the West for a reason. They got the best player in the world on their team. But at the same time, we didn’t fight as hard as we fought in the bubble to just say, all right, we’re the eighth seed to go out there and just get beat up on.”
One of the biggest strengths of the Lakers is their frontcourt, led by Anthony Davis. They’re an outstanding rebounding and shot-blocking team, but Portland’s trio of seven-footers in Jusuf Nurkic, Hassan Whiteside, and Zach Collins could help contain L.A.’s bigs. Davis averaged 32 points per game against the Blazers this season, but Nurkic was out with an injury at the time.
One Lakers player recently admitted the Blazers will be a tough matchup for his team, and that is especially true since their top perimeter defender, Avery Bradley, did not take part in the resumed season. The Lakers will have their hands full trying to contain Lillard and CJ McCollum.
Still, the Lakers have LeBron James. Portland will have to play nearly mistake-free basketball to stand a chance at getting the best of LeBron and Davis, but anything can happen in what has been a highly unusual season.