Aaron Holiday was taken with the No. 23 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. At the time of his selection, the Indiana Pacers were immediately talked about as getting one of the biggest steals of the draft. While he didn’t play a huge role early on in his rookie season, Holiday showed major progress down the stretch.
Following the season-ending injury suffered by Victor Oladipo, Holiday became a part of the rotation. There were stretches that he didn’t play as much following the signing of Wesley Matthews, but he still received fairly consistent playing time.
When everything was said and done, Holiday played in 50 regular season games, but didn’t start in any of them. He averaged 5.9 points, 1.7 assists, and 1.3 rebounds per game. In addition to those numbers, Holiday shot 40.1 percent from the field overall and 33.9 percent from the three-point line.
At just 22 years old, there is no question that the young point guard has a bright future ahead of him. The Pacers are very high on him and he could even compete for a starting role next season, depending on what the Pacers do this offseason in free agency and on the trade market.
Let’s dive in and take a look at three improvements that Holiday must make this offseason for the Pacers.
3. Learn When to Push the Ball
The Pacers want to start playing with more speed in the future, but Holiday has a tendency to get a bit worked up and force the action. As a point guard in the NBA, that kind of thing can become a major issue. Indiana loves his speed and drive to get up the court quickly, but he has to pick and choose when to do so.
If Holiday can figure out when to push the ball and when to pull back and set up the half-court offense, he is going to improve dramatically as a floor general.
2. Become a More Consistent Three-Point Shooter
Nate McMillan made it fairly clear in his post-season press conference that he wants the team to put up more threes next season. Holiday showed off his ability to shoot the ball in stretches, but he also struggled with consistency at times. Working on his consistency is a must for him.
Holiday has a top-notch work ethic and the Pacers have to feel confident that he will come back much better than he was as a rookie. He has the talent and ability to become a deadeye three-point shooter and it will be fun to watch if he makes a leap forward in 2019-20.
1. Focus Even More on Creating for His Teammates
Finally, the Pacers could be in need of a point guard that can facilitate the offense for his teammates. Darren Collison and Cory Joseph are both free agents and the Pacers may not be able to get one of the better point guards that will be available this offseason. If that ends up being the case, Holiday is going to have a major role.
Focusing on getting his teammates more involved and creating plays for others should be his main goal this offseason. His offense spoke for itself this season, but running the offense is an area that he needs to improve.