Indiana Pacers Fans Will be Celebrating the Holidays All Season Long

Aaron Holiday, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)
Aaron Holiday, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The biggest surprise of the Indiana Pacers season has been the strong play of the Holiday brothers. They are two major components of the improved bench.

The Indiana Pacers may have the best bench in the history of the franchise this season, and a large part of that success has been the play of Aaron and Justin Holiday.

The Holiday brothers, along with T.J. McConnell and Doug McDermott lead an Indiana bench that is third in 3-point field goal percentage and tied for fifth in plus/minus. The Pacers bench also plays at frenetic pace that leaves other teams struggling to match the energy and effort.

Aaron Holiday started the season struggling mightily. He looked lost and overwhelmed in the Pacers season opener. He turned the ball over, picked up a couple fouls, and went 0 for 6 from the floor in just under seven minutes. After picking up a couple “DNP-coaches decisions”, Aaron rejoined the rotation and has thrived in his time on the court.

The natural chemistry with his brother Justin is obvious when watching them play together. The brothers shared the hero role in a November home game against Orlando. In the final seconds Justin stole the ball and found Aaron for the game winning 3-pointer.

Aaron has also earned the trust of the coaching staff to defend top-tier guards. The younger Holiday was the only Pacer player able to slow down Kemba Walker in Indiana’s victory over the Boston Celtics in the team’s biggest Eastern Conference win of the season thus far.

After the Boston victory, Aaron locked down Trae Young in Atlanta then Devonte’ Graham in Charlotte. Both high scoring guards struggled with Holiday defending them.

Justin Holiday signed a 1-year, $4.8 million deal with the Pacers over the off-season after playing with the Chicago Bulls and Memphis Grizzlies last season. At 30 years old, Justin is the oldest player on the team. He fills the veteran role that Thaddeus Young had the past three seasons.

The older Holiday is a 3-and-D specialist and is usually tasked with defending one of the opposing team’s premier players. He has also been sinking threes at an almost 40% clip. After playing for seven different teams in seven seasons, Justin Holiday may have found a long-term home with the Pacers.

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When the game is on the line, the Pacers know it doesn’t have to be a special date to get something from the Holidays.