The last time we saw Jrue Holiday on the court it was Jan. 12. Back then, he was key to the Pelicans’ backcourt averaging 15.2 points and 7.1 assists a game, plus he was shooting 36.7 percent from three. Even more than that, he’s a quality defender that the Pelicans need on the perimeter.
However, a “stress reaction” in his right leg sidelined him for more than three months.
Friday night Holiday will be back albeit in a limited role. Coach Monty Williams said this at shootaround, as reported on the Pelicans’ official site.
“He won’t be playing more than 15 minutes a game for the rest of the season,” Williams said. “Unless he feels better and we feel like he’s not in harm’s way – then we’ll increase it. But I doubt that he’ll get to his normal minute allotment. Jrue’s a guy who can play 35 to 40 minutes a night, but he won’t get to that.”
Holiday likely takes minutes away from Toney Douglass and Norris Cole. That’s an upgrade.
In Holiday’s absence the Pelicans have transformed — Tyreke Evans is the guy with the ball in his hands more — but they have battled back and are currently the eighth seed in the West. They are tied with Oklahoma City, but the Pelicans have the tie breaker.
Holiday returns against Phoenix, a team with a quality backcourt where his defense could be useful. The Pelicans need wins to stay in the playoff mix.