Milwaukee vs. Brooklyn: Matchup to Watch
The second round of the NBA playoffs has arrived. With that, we are getting a taste of the first matchup in the Eastern Conference. The Brooklyn Nets vs. the Milwaukee Bucks. Both teams with championship aspirations. Both teams have one of the best players in the world. Not to mention, both squads have a solid star trio. This shapes up to be one of the most entertaining matchups to watch in the whole NBA playoff picture. With this in mind, what is the matchup to watch in terms of the players? Is it Kevin Durant vs. Giannis Antetokounmpo? Could it be Khris Middleton dueling James Harden? Here is the true matchup to watch for this whole series.
Nets vs. Bucks: Matchup to Watch Throughout Series
Matchup to Watch: Jrue vs. Brooklyn’s Backcourt
Jrue Holiday was one of the main keys to Milwaukee’s sweep of the Miami Heat in the first round. He is regarded as arguably the best perimeter defender in the league for a reason. This series will present him with the toughest challenge of his career yet. Not only will he see time guarding James Harden, but he will also be tasked with containing Kyrie Irving at times as well. Two of the most lethal guards in the whole NBA. By the same token, Harden and Irving have to know that Holiday will make their lives difficult. They may get their numbers, but Jrue is going to make them work harder than usual to get their points.
Holiday is one of the top players in steals per game these playoffs at 2.3 per game. Not to mention, he is familiar with both Irving and Harden as he matched up with them quite a bit during the regular season. Kyrie did get the best of him in a way as Irving tallied 22 points in two games on 50.0 percent shooting when guarded by Jrue this regular season. However, Holiday got the last laugh in a lot of other matchups. When guarding Harden, the Beard was held to three points on 20.0 percent shooting. Granted, this was only in six minutes of matchup minutes in just one game. However, given Harden’s nuclear scoring abilities, this is still impressive.
Holiday vs. Other Elite Guards This Regular Season
The Brooklyn backcourt is not the only one who has had a hard time getting past Jrue Holiday’s pesky defense. Jrue also held the likes of Chris Paul, Kyle Lowry, Zach LaVine, Ja Morant, and Devin Booker under double figures when matched up with him. Booker and Morant both shot only 25.0 percent from the field when guarded by Holiday. Given all of this in mind, the Brooklyn Nets cannot overlook Jrue Holiday and his defensive impact. Much of defense is about effort. In turn, seeing effort and hustle can spark a team to rally to a win, no matter if they are the underdog or not. While everyone wants to see the Giannis vs. KD matchup, for good reason, pay attention to the battle in the backcourt once in a while this series.
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images