New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday has played significantly better so far this season since Rajon Rondo has returned from his injury.
Rondo keeps a low usage rate, yielding to Holiday and the big man duo for New Orleans, while often finding players for assists when he does have the ball. According to Basketball-Reference, the last player who had as many assists per game as Rondo with such low a usage rate was Jason Kidd in 2011.
His impact has been particularly notable for Holiday. The 27-year-old is currently averaging a career-high 18 points per game, higher than his previous best during his 2012-13 campaign.
When the two players are in the backcourt for New Orleans, the Pelicans have scored 113.8 points per 100 possessions. Among two-man lineups that have played at least as many minutes as they have logged together since Rondo returned, the offensive rating for New Orleans when they are both on the court ranks Top 5 in the NBA.
According to NBA.com, Holiday is shooting 17-of-45 (37.8 percent) on above the break three-pointers when Rondo is on the court this season. But without Rondo, he is shooting 16-of-61 (26.2 percent) on attempts from this range.
Holiday is shooting 100-of-146 (68.5 percent) in the restricted area of the paint, which ranks No. 3 overall among guards with as many attempts. The only guards who have been more accurate aren’t prototypical players at the position: LeBron James and Ben Simmons.
Since the return of Rondo, Holiday has also improved his midrange game. He is shooting 19-of-36 (52.8 percent) from this zone, which ranks No. 4 overall among those with as many attempts since Rondo became active this season.
It might be unusual for Holiday to start at shooting when he stands at just 6-foot-4. But playing alongside Rondo has done wonders for offense so far this season.