Boston Celtics

Why Brown credits Holiday for Celtics' Game 2 win vs. Mavericks

"He's a great teammate and it's just an honor to play next to him."

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There is immense value in having players on your roster with championship experience, and Jrue Holiday provides that experience for the Boston Celtics.

The Celtics are the most talented and deepest team in pro basketball, but Holiday is the only player on the star-studded roster with a championship ring (Milwaukee Bucks in 2021).

Acquiring him via trade just before the season was a stroke of genius by C's president of basketball operations Brad Stevens. Holiday was the No. 2 or No. 3 option for the Bucks over the last three years. He's had to adjust to being the No. 4 or even No. 5 option on the Celtics given their abundance of talent.

The veteran point guard has fit in perfectly with the Celtics, and even though he's not the team's best player, he's still capable of being Boston's top player any night. That was the case in Game 2 of the 2024 NBA Finals on Sunday night, when Holiday led the Celtics with 26 points and 11 rebounds in a 105-98 win that gave Boston a 2-0 series lead.

Celtics star Jaylen Brown credited Holiday for the Celtics' latest victory.

"Jrue has been an example of just excellence," Brown told reporters in his postgame press conference. "Since he's been here, his role has been different from what it was the last few years on Milwaukee, and he's been able to adapt. Not a lot of guys can do that, be versatile, play different roles and different styles and still have an effect on the game.

"Jrue, he just came in, he wasn't on the ball as much, still guarded at a high level, but became a corner three-point specialist. That's just a testament to his greatness. Tonight they wanted to emphasize loading up, making us make the right reads over and over again, and Jrue had a lot of opportunities tonight and he took advantage. He's just a hell of a player, hell of a person, great teammate. I credit the victory to him tonight. He played well."

Holiday consistently makes the right play at both ends of the court. His defense has been elite -- especially against Kyrie Irving -- and he's contributing offensively. He also takes care of the ball. In fact, he's the first player since Michael Jordan in 1998 to score 38-plus points with zero turnovers over the first two games of an NBA Finals.

Holiday's on-court play, leadership and championship experience have made him an excellent addition to this Celtics team. He's exactly what they were missing in previous playoff runs.

If the Celtics finish the job and eliminate the Mavericks to win the championship, Holiday will be one of the primary reasons for that success.

"Jrue is a great teammate, nothing short of that," Brown said. "He's brought championship pedigree to our team. So nothing Jrue says we question. Jrue, he comes in and he just is who he is. He's got that demeanor, that killer-like mentality, and we respect it. You know what I mean? He's a great teammate and it's just an honor to play next to him."

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