Boston Celtics

Paul George names this C's player as toughest to score on in NBA

"He got locks."

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Paul George knows a thing or two about elite defense. The Los Angeles Clippers star has four All-Defensive selections (two First Team, two Second Team) on his résumé.

That being the case, George's words carry more weight when he praises his peers for their defensive prowess. He did just that on a recent episode of his "Podcast P" show.

Asked to name the toughest player for him to score on in the NBA, George named a Boston Celtics standout.

"Probably Jrue (Holiday)," the nine-time All-Star answered. "He got locks. He's strong as (expletive). He's quick, and he loves to play defense. That is the worst trait that you can go up against, somebody that loves to play defense. Those are always the toughest matchups for me offensively."

George's co-hosts asked if Holiday's brothers, Aaron (Houston Rockets) and Justin (Denver Nuggets), played the same caliber defense.

"Aaron plays good defense, Justin plays good defense. Like, they're defenders, but Jrue is just -- it's another level," George said. "He has anticipation. He has instincts. He knows your tendencies. He's a cerebral defender."

George and Holiday have history. The Los Angeles natives played on the same AAU team and began their NBA careers around the same time -- George in 2010 and Holiday in 2009.

That Holiday tops George's list of tough defenders comes as no surprise. The 33-year-old guard has earned five All-Defensive nods (three First Team, two Second Team), each of them coming since 2017.

Holiday arrived in Boston just before the 2023-24 season in a three-way deal with the Milwaukee Bucks that sent Malcolm Brogdon and Robert Williams to the Portland Trail Blazers. Since then, he has lived up to expectations on both ends of the floor. The 2021 NBA champion is averaging 12.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 0.9 steals, and 0.7 blocks through 58 games. He's shooting 48.5 percent from the field and a career-best 44.6 percent from 3-point range.

The Celtics bolstered their starting lineup last summer by adding Holiday and big man Kristaps Porzingis. The additions have helped them boast the league's best record (49-14) and net rating (11.0) to this point in the campaign.

Holiday and the C's will look to stay hot when they take on the Trail Blazers on Monday at 10:30 p.m. ET. You can catch the action right here on NBC Sports Boston starting with "Celtics Pregame Live" at 9:30 p.m.

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