Aaron Holiday looks like the odd man out of the rotation

Aaron Holiday, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)
Aaron Holiday, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images) /

With Victor Oladipo returning to action, it looks like Aaron Holiday may be out of the Indiana Pacers rotation.

Aaron Holiday had a great stretch of play for the Indiana Pacers with Victor Oladipo sidelined. He debuted with a strong performance against the Atlanta Hawks, and he never looked back; he was a useful contributor for the entirety of the sans-Oladipo timeframe.

He looked like more than a rookie during this timeframe. He played with conviction on the court and displayed confidence off the court. You could tell he has a bright future both from his poise and demeanor, and every time he spoke he became more likable.

During the stretch of time in which Holiday got regular minutes, he posted a solid stat line for a rookie. In 16.6 minutes per game, he scored 8 points, grabbed 2.9 rebounds, and dished out 1.9 assists per game on 42.9 percent shooting. That is about all you can ask from a rookie point guard over a 12 game stretch. He competently played over 10 minutes in all but one night in this timeframe.

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Holiday played well enough that everyone started to wonder how to get him minutes when Oladipo did ultimately return. Though it is challenging, there was thought to be a pathway to at least a tiny bit of minutes each not for Holiday.

But Oladipo came back on Wednesday, and now it is starting to look like Holiday is out of the rotation altogether. Head Coach Nate McMillan said as much to reporters before the game.

“He did his job. Now he goes back to his role.” McMillan said of Holiday’s spot in the rotation before the Pacers took on the Bucks on Wednesday.

He was right. Holiday did not end up playing in that game, his first DNP-CD since November 16th. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing – he is clearly the 5th best guard on the roster. But after seeing Holiday perform far above expectation for nearly a month, there was some hope he could have at least some role.

Given what McMillan said about Holiday going “back to his role” I would imagine we only see Holiday in garbage time now. That is what his role was before Vic’s injury – he only played 16.5 minutes over the teams first 15 games. Perhaps Nate can find him some time in place of the tiny amount of minutes that go to TJ Leaf, but other than that, it is hard to see Holiday playing much going forward, barring another injury.

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This takes away nothing from Holiday’s future. He still looks to have a solid career, and he has a great base to build off of given the way he played in the last month. But don’t expect to see Aaron Holiday getting many minutes for the Indiana Pacers any time soon.