Justin Holiday has been a defensive asset for the Pacers this year
Justin Holiday‘s one-year deal with the Indiana Pacers is expiring after this season. While the Pacers would love to keep him, his stellar defensive play and above-average 3-point shooting may make him a marketable asset to a number of teams looking for those ever-valuable skills this summer.
More teams vying for his services means his price drives right up.
Holiday has been a journeyman throughout his career thus far, and Indiana feels like a good fit for him if he’s looking to stay somewhere long term. He’s struggled to carve out a consistent role until recently, and with the Pacers this year his versatility has offered him a great amount of opportunity.
Not many Pacers fans would be opposed to bringing him back, especially if it’s at a favorable price point. While the market still needs to be set (and the price will depend on wherever the salary cap gets set, currently in flux due to the ongoing hiatus and loss of basketball related income for the league) it’s possible the team can get him on an affordable deal.
We won’t focus on a potential price here today, but here are some clips that will make you want to pay him… now.
Check out Justin Holiday’s ability to fight over screens
Most players would be way behind the play here and unable to contest the shot. Not Holiday.
Holiday fights over a good screen from the big body of Giannis Antetokounmpo and, though he can’t get back in front of Khris Middleton, gets a hand in front of his face and makes for a presence to his side, leading to a missed shot from one of the league’s most accurate all-around shooters.
Check out how Justin Holiday’s defensive instincts on display here
As soon as De’Andre Hunter loads up for the pass here, Justin Holiday recognizes the opportunity he has. Coming up from the baseline, he sprints to intercept the pass.
It’s an incredible read, and it leads to the Pacers capitalizing on a strong double team. Team defense occurs in more than one place at a time.
Justin Holiday helps to limit teams pushing the pace
The Pacers don’t like to run. They’re at their best when they can control the pace and get into their halfcourt sets. Here, Holiday’s length allows him to reach up and grab a pass from Evan Turner meant to advance the ball quickly and catch the Pacers defense asleep at the wheel.
For good measure, Holiday comes down and gets the rebound off his brother’s missed shot and gets the ball to T.J. Warren for a bucket.
Justin Holiday helps teammates capitalize on solid traps by making good reads
Try to avoid the scoreboard on this one. This game was ugly.
Holiday’s three teammates swarm on Pat Connaughton here, and he looks to make a pass. Again, as soon as the pass is in motion, Holiday has made his move.
He knows exactly when to leave his assignment and commit to the pass, leading to an easy interception for the Pacers here.
Watch Justin Holiday come out of NOWHERE here for a Pacers steal
I’ve watched this clip plenty of times and it amazes me every time.
If you have the time, rewind to see when Holiday speeds up. Again, an incredible read. Holiday sees plays developing before they happen and acts in real time to make strong defensive plays.
He speeds up when the play speeds up. Recognizing his teammates are about to swarm as McConnell gets burned, Holiday looks off to his right and sees E’Twaun Moore in the corner for an easy bucket once Doug McDermott rolls over to help.
By the time Frank Jackson goes up for the shot attempt, Holiday is still breaking toward Moore. The rotation is strong, the pass is forced, and Holiday is there to snatch it up.
The Pacers are a team built on defense. It’s one of their main skillsets as a team. If they want that to continue, re-signing Justin Holiday this summer should be a priority.