Jrue Holiday: "We need to find a big man"

Jrue Holiday: "We need to find a big man"


Jrue Holiday: "We need to find a big man"

- by

Emilio CobosPromising Sixers guard Jrue Holiday, who joined All-Star center Dwight Howard on his European tour, is hoping to become a better floor general next season.

First of all, how’s your brother Justin Holiday doing before the draft?

Jrue Holiday: He’s doing good. He just had a workout in Portland the other day and he’s excited about the draft.

Have you given some advice to him about the whole process?

JH: Well, his process is a little bit different from mine, and I hope he makes it. Anything he asks me, I try to answer it. I think he can be an early second-round pick.

In which way did you improve during your second season?

JH: I just tried to get a real feel for the game. I got a lot more minutes and that helped me grow. Our team grew really well together and again having a new coaching staff and all that really helped my process.

How was the transition of playing with Eddie Jordan to doing it Doug Collins?

JH: Well, Eddie Jordan is a more laid-back type of coach while Collins is a coach that puts a lot of pressure, shows a lot of passion for the game, a lot of love. If we do something wrong, no matter who it is, he can be the superstar of the team or the 14th men, he’s gonna discipline him the same way.

Which aspect of your game have you improved the most this season?

JH: I think my jump shot, the scoring. I didn’t score that much in my rookie year but last year I started to score a lot more.

You showed a lot of confidence during the series against the Heat averaging 14.2 points and hitting 11 of 21 three-pointers.

JH: Yeah, definitely. It was my first playoff and it was against the Big Three. We had been playing well all year and we didn’t need to change anything. We played hard but it wasn’t enough.

I’m pretty sure Sixer fans are expecting more next season, and that means getting past the first round of the playoffs…

JH: They should be! I know we’re expecting to get past the first round as a team. Our fans are definitely hard, but they definitely have passion so if they feel that way then so do we. We have to get past that first round next year.

As of today there are eight players with guaranteed contracts next season. What are the needs for this team?

JH: I think we kind of found our core, we are a young team. I think that we’ll make some changes… Finding a big man because we do need more rebound and shot-blocking on the defensive end. But scoring, I think it’s just a process. We have Evan Turner who is a great scorer, Jodie Meeks is a great scorer too…

There have been a lot of rumors about Andre Iguodala.

JH: He’s just really trying to relax right now. He had a lot of injuries this year. I know he’s in China doing some stuff but I think right now it’s the offseason and I’m sure he’s taking care of business, taking care of his body. I’m not really sure what he is going through or what’s gonna happen.

But the Sixers are a pretty good defensive team. Wouldn’t losing one of the best defenders hurt the team even if you get a big like Chris Kaman or a scoring shooting guard like Monta Ellis?

JH: He’s definitely our defensive captain. He guards all the best players like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade… So we are losing a lot if we lose him. That’s why I still think that everything with the trade is really up in the air.

Who are the leaders of the Sixers?

JH: Andre, Elton Brand and Lou Williams. I think I’m young but I’m definitely coming up. It’s a process of growing, learning more about the game, But as far as I’m a point guard, I’m the floor general.

How is your relationship with Williams?

JH: He’s kind of like a big brother to me. I learned a lot from him and I consider him a big brother.

Who’s the best point guard?

JH: Derrick Rose. Just his performance, the way he plays, the way he leads his team, how he cares about his team, I think he’s awesome. He’s somebody I look up to.

And who’s the point guard you watch a lot in order to improve your game?

JH: Deron Williams. He’s a bigger point guard, he scores, he passes so well… He can pretty much do everything. I kind of look up to him in that aspect.

And who’s the best ballhandler?

JH: It has to be Chris Paul. The way he handles the ball, it’s like he has a yo-yo.

The fastest point guard?

JH: Either John Wall or Ty Lawson. One of those two, they both are speed demons, it’s like they have jets on their feet. Very hard to stop them.

You grew up in the Los Angeles area, then you went to UCLA… How was the transition from living in California to Philly?

JH: My first year was hard. A lot things happened like with the weather, the snow… But I got used to it in my second year. My grandmother stayed with me the first year in Philadelphia and that was big for me.

Where can I eat a tasty Philly cheesesteak?

JH: One of my favorite places to eat is Tony Luke‘s Cheesesteaks. There’s always Pat’s and Geno’s Cheesesteaks if you like the famous places… And there’s Larry’s, which is by Saint Joseph. Kobe Bryant goes there all the time.

, , , , ,

More HoopsHype