Three things to know: Jrue Holiday contract extension transcends largely listless NBA weekend

Bucks guard Jrue Holiday
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The NBA season is into its second half, and we will be here each weekday with the NBC Sports daily roundup Three Things to Know — everything you might have missed in the Association, every key moment from the night before in one place.

1) Bucks lock in Jrue Holiday with contract extension

The Bucks stared down crisis and convinced a key player to sign a contract extension.

Then, they did it again.

Though the Jrue Holiday situation justifiably didn’t draw nearly the same attention as Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s super-max saga – which culminated in him signing last offseason – this was also highly important to Milwaukee. The Bucks got Holiday to sign a four-year extension worth nearly $135 million plus incentives.

Here’s more on what the extension means for Holiday and Milwaukee.

2) Regular season hitting doldrums

The Nets (Kevin Durant and James Harden), Lakers (LeBron James and Anthony Davis), Hornets (Gordon Hayward and LaMelo Ball) and 76ers (Joel Embiid) all lost without top players Sunday.

The Bulls (115-107 win over Brooklyn), Clippers (104-86 win over Lakers), Celtics (116-86 win over Charlotte) and Grizzlies (116-100 win over Philadelphia) did well to take advantage. But there wasn’t a lot to learn from these games.

Really, it wasn’t a great weekend for competitive NBA basketball.

3) How badly do Warriors want to win?

Warriors forward Draymond Green said the play-in tournament doesn’t motivate him. Warriors coach Steve Kerr: “Well, it motivates me.”

But Kerr also previously said he wouldn’t “chase wins” by playing Stephen Curry big minutes, instead trying to preserve the star guard for championship contention in future years.

That bit Golden State in a 117-111 loss to the Hawks yesterday.

  • Warriors with Curry: +8 in 37 minutes
  • Warriors without Curry: -14 in 11 minutes

Golden State’s offense just cratered without Curry, who scored 37 points.

To be fair, 37 minutes is not a short outing. Curry is averaging 34 minutes per game. He’s also nursing a tailbone injury.

But if Curry played just a few more minutes yesterday, the Warriors might have won.

Instead, they fell to 15.5 – just barely holding onto play-in position over the Pelicans (half a game back) and Kings (one game back).