Jrue Holiday’s baffling response to Bucks not attacking one-legged James Harden
Brooklyn Nets star James Harden played 46 minutes on a bum leg against the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 5 on Tuesday night, but the Bucks weren’t able to punish Harden’s defense in a dreadful second-half performance. Milwaukee’s offense devolved into bad isolations and too often let Harden off the hook despite the fact that he couldn’t move laterally because of his hamstring injury.
After a devastating 114-108 loss, Bucks point guard Jrue Holiday was asked about not attacking Harden more. His answer was weak and featured complaining about the officials:
Jrue Holiday, on attacking Harden better: "Honestly, attack him, but it's not like he's going to get calls on him, so I don't know. It's hard out here."
— Eric Nehm (@eric_nehm) June 16, 2021
Not really sure what the officials have to do with not taking advantage of a one-legged defender and instead settling for a bunch of bad shots. You don’t need calls if you’re just able to roast the guy and put the ball in the basket.
Holiday also complained about the officiating in terms of playing defense against a red-hot Kevin Durant, which is more understandable at least. The Bucks had a bunch of guys in foul trouble and KD took 16 free throws, which nearly matched Milwaukee’s 17 attempts.
But even then, Milwaukee’s defensive strategy against Durant wasn’t sound, with Mike Budenholzer slow to adjust as he got cooking. Perhaps the Bucks would have had more success if they were allowed to be more physical, but that shouldn’t let them off the hook.
This sounds like a lot of sour grapes from Holiday, who needs to be better if Milwaukee is going to win this series. The Bucks traded a lot for Holiday to be better than Eric Bledsoe, but that upgrade hasn’t shown up against Brooklyn.
Even after the devastating Game 5 loss, Milwaukee is still in decent shape. The Bucks have Game 6 at home against a Nets team that will still be banged up, and then anything can happen in a Game 7. We’ll see if they can shake it off.