Jrue Holiday has shot into the limelight after some savvy defensive plays for the Bucks, but Kevin Durant has always held him in high regard.
Kevin Durant is one of the few NBA players to have a mismatch against everyone guarding them. His physical profile is basically nothing like we’ve ever seen in the league. Combined with his skill level as a ball-handler and as a shooter, KD is basically unguardable.
When shorter guards like Jrue Holiday defend him, KD can effortlessly spot or pull up over them. When guarded by bigs, KD has the foot speed and handles to get to the rim. It’s not for nothing that he’s earned 4 scoring titles and 2 Finals MVPs to his name.
So when Kevin Durant talks basketball, you shut up and listen unless you have constructive feedback. And KD has long been giving Jrue Holiday his props, even when he wasn’t in the playoff picture last year.
“Jrue Holiday is solidified as NBA’s best defender”: Kevin Durant on the JJ Redick podcast
Durant loves to rag on sports media for their faulty perceptions of basketball and NBA players. Last year’s All-Defensive team lineups had some questionable snubs and selections, which KD took exception to.
He made his choice for the best guard defender in the league amply clear in an appearance on the JJ Redick podcast while action in the NBA Bubble was on in full swing:
“Jrue Holiday is solidified as probably the best defender in the league at the guard position. When we talk about defense, a lot of people really don’t understand what defense really means, you know?”
“For different positions, especially for the point guard position, they don’t get a lot of credit for fighting over screens. Especially now that they’re getting screened at half-court, guys running off of pin-downs.”
“So I feel like it’s a huge discrepancy between what the players think and the media thinks. We’re in there every day, we understand what a good possession of defense is, and we understand how these guys are undervalued and their perception goes a long way.”