Jrue Holiday Breaks Down Stellar Defensive Play In Game 5 Vs. Celtics

Holiday shined defensively in crunch time


May 12, 2022

The Bucks, and specifically Jrue Holiday, stole a victory away from the Celtics on Wednesday night.

An inexcusable Bobby Portis putback with 11.4 seconds left in Game 5 at TD Garden put Boston down by one, but the C’s still had more than enough time to knock down a potential game-winning bucket. A timeout allowed Ime Udoka’s team to not only draw up a play but also advance the basketball.

After the pause in play, Marcus Smart took the Celtics’ inbound pass and drove toward the basket along the baseline. The Defensive Player of the Year tried to put one up but he was blocked by Holiday, who also managed to throw the ball off Smart. Milwaukee took over possession, extended its lead to three and made one final defensive stand to secure a comeback win.

Meeting with the media after the game, Holiday broke down the game’s most important defensive sequence from his point of view.

“Jaylen (Brown) came down to set the screen, and Pat (Connaughton) was fighting him, but he was on the top side,” Holiday told The Athletic. “Once he was on the top side, I felt like Marcus felt like he had a way into the basket, the baseline, so I just went. I know he didn’t see Jaylen behind him just because of the angle he had.”

Holiday added: “I didn’t want to hit it and make it go out of bounds; I wanted to keep it inbounds. I think it was just kind of … instinctual. It’s not like I planned it out or anything.”

The 13th-year guard and the Bucks now have every ounce of momentum in the back end of this Eastern Conference semifinals series. The reigning NBA champions can finish off the Celtics at Fiserv Forum on Friday night.

Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images
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