Q+A: Jrue Holiday
SLAMonline sits down with one of the NBA’s rising stars, Jrue Holiday.
by Tracy Weissenberg / @basketballista
SLAM: You guys got off to a great start with limited training camp and preseason. What did the team focus on coming into this season?
Jrue Holiday: I think really just keeping that chemistry that we had last year. You know we had about the same plays, so going over those, and just trying to be more crisp and execute better. I think the biggest thing was probably defense for us. Defense is kind of our calling card. We play defense well, we get easy buckets.
SLAM: Do you think it helped that you have the same young core the past few years?
JH: Yeah, definitely. I think the guys that they added were good attributes and definitely keeping the core group of guys who went so far last year and played well together I think was definitely huge.
SLAM: What was your main focus coming into this season?
JH: Really I guess, just to be some kind of floor leader, floor general on the court. Just kind of be a coach on the court, and really just keep the team in shape, keep us positive, if we’re down, give us a lift, give us a boost, anything we need.
SLAM: Is there something you know now that you wish you knew as a rookie?
JH: Probably how great playoffs is. I mean playoffs are awesome. That’s definitely something that a lot of NBA players don’t even get to experience. That’s something, an experience that I’ll definitely take with me forever.
SLAM: Sounds like you took a lot from your series against Miami. You guys really competed against them.
JH: Yeah, I mean I think we kind of showed our colors. We have a lot of heart and even though they made it to the Finals, I think we gave them a run for their money.
SLAM: Have you leaned on any veterans for advice these past few years?
JH: There’s always Lou, Lou’s been in the game for a while and Dre. Really just leaning on them, learning from them, learning from their experiences and just kind of growing with them too really, really helps.
SLAM: Do you think having such a balanced team helps during this condensed season, since you guys can go so deep in the rotation?
JH: Yeah, definitely. We do have the best second team in the league I believe. We have three starters on our second team, which is crazy. Our second team definitely, definitely makes us.
SLAM: Do you have any personal goals this season?
JH: Yeah, I mean the usual—you know win a Championship, be MVP, make the All-Star game, simple stuff [laughs], simple stuff.