Holiday is aggressive but not offensive

Posted: May 27, 2012

BOSTON - Since the 76ers earned a seventh game in their Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Boston Celtics, guard Jrue Holiday had talked about the importance of being aggressive.

Holiday admitted that there were periods during this series that he had become passive, and he said the key was maintaining that aggressiveness throughout the game.

In Game 7, the aggressiveness was there, but his shot wasn't.

Holiday had 15 points and nine assists, but his solid all-around game wasn't quite enough as the Celtics eliminated the Sixers.

The one sore spot for Holiday was his marksmanship. He shot just 5 of 17 from the field. It was the most field-goal attempts he had in this seven-game series.

"We were trying to attack the basket, and there were a lot of shots that didn't go our way, along with myself personally. But I really tried to get to the line and make something happen," Holiday said.

Holiday helped force the seventh game with 20 points during the Sixers 82-75 win in Game 6.

"It was a good run, and we put up a good fight," Holiday said.

Against the Celtics, Holiday averaged a team-high 13.9 points in the seven games. He also averaged 5.6 assists, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.7 steals.

"Jrue played great and is going to be a great player in this league for years to come, and he really grew up in these playoffs," said forward Elton Brand, who had 15 points in the Game 7 loss.

The Sixers trailed by as many as 11 points in the third quarter, but Holiday hit a key three with 6 minutes, 50 seconds left in the third to cut the margin to 49-43.

Holiday kept making big plays in the third quarter. With 1:13 left, Holiday stole the ball from Kevin Garnett after a rebound and scored on a layup. That cut Boston's lead to 53-50.

Holiday was replaced by Jodie Meeks with 20.3 seconds left in the third quarter and the Sixers trailing by 53-52.

In leading that third-quarter comeback, Holiday had five points, four assists, and two steals.

He returned with 8:40 left in the fourth quarter and the Sixers trailing by 62-55.

As the Sixers roared back in the fourth, Holiday kept making clutch plays. He found Andre Iguodala in the corner for a three-pointer that got the Sixers to within 71-68 with 4:30 left.

That was the last great run for the Sixers and Holiday.

Holiday, who turns 22 next month, was shown great respect by the Celtics, who frequently double-teamed him this series in an attempt to force him to get rid of the ball. Afterward a few Celtics passed on words of encouragement.

"You talk to them after, and they say kind words to you. It's a good feeling," Holiday said. "They have a lot of all-stars on the team, a lot of veterans who I was probably watching in high school. It's a compliment and honor for them to say that to me."

Contact Marc Narducci at 856-779-3225, or on Twitter @sjnard.


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