Jrue Holiday Should Benefit The Most From The DeMarcus Cousins Trade

By Zamir Bueno
Feb. 20, 2017

Although most media members think that Anthony Davis stands to benefit the most from the Demarcus Cousins trade that isn't the case as Jrue Holiday will reap most of the benefits. Over the last two years, the New Orleans Pelicans have implemented an offensive system where the point guard would bring the ball up to the three point line and then a big man would set a screen. Once the screen was set the point guard would pay attention to his defender to determine the next course of action, for instance, if the defender went under the screen, the point guard would go over the screen and take the wide open shot. On the other hand, if the defender went over the screen, the point guard would go over the screen as well and drive towards the basket where he would score or pass the ball to the player next to him or to the perimeter depending on whether he was double teamed or not. As a result of this system, I expect the team to use DeMarcus Cousins as the screener within the pick and roll because his body is much bigger and stronger than that of Anthony Davis; which means that he will be better suited to withstand the physical contact underneath the basket. Due to this, Davis will spend a significant portion of the game behind the three point line because the team wants to avoid a potential spacing issue. For instance, if Cousins and Davis are in the paint at the same time, the opposing team will clog up the area making it difficult for them to get a wide open shot. On the other hand, if Davis is standing behind the three point line, the opposing team will have to defend all areas of the court which create more one on one coverage for them as well as open space for their teammates to move without the ball.

[Alvin Gentry Phoenix Suns Playbook]

[Alvin Gentry Ballscreen Sets]

Therefore, Jrue Holiday should benefit the most from the DeMarcus Cousins trade because he is going to be the pick and roll partner of Cousins. As a result of this, the opposing point guard will be forced to defend the pick and roll by himself because the big man has to stay close to the rim to prevent Cousins from going to the basket and getting an open look. Due to this, once Holiday gets pass the screen he will have an abundant amount of space to hit a mid-range jumper. If Holiday manages to make a significant portion of those wide open jumpers, it is reasonable to believe that he can average 20 or more points per game down the stretch.