It’s not often Milwaukee Bucks star Jrue Holiday shares his perspective on who should win NBA awards, but now the defensive assassin is telling you how he really feels.
“Man, I feel like I'm the Defensive Player of the Year every year,” Holiday told Yahoo Sports in an exclusive phone interview. “I'm not joking about that. And I know this is my opinion, and other people have different opinions and they'll probably think I'm crazy. But I think what I bring defensively on the court, a lot of people don't really do, to be completely honest.
“I feel like I should be in the conversation every year. I’m being serious. This isn't the first year I've been playing defense this way.”
Holiday, who is well regarded as arguably the toughest defender among his peers for at least the last six seasons, has only been voted to the All-Defensive First Team once (2018) and All-Defensive Second Team once (2019).
As of May 5, the 30-year-old guard in his first season with the Bucks has been assigned to 584 defensive matchups against the top 10 scorers in the league, the most of any player. He’s first in loose balls recovered per game (1.3), third in steals (1.7), sixth in deflections (3.3) and one of only five players with 90 or more steals and 30 or more blocks (Nikola Jokic, Robert Covington, Matisse Thybulle and Danny Green).
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (-1600 favorite at BetMGM) and Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (+750) are largely viewed as the frontrunners for the Defensive Player of the Year award. Holiday, who doesn't have DPOY odds listed at BetMGM, isn’t quite sure of why his name isn’t circulating more for the award, considering he’s now playing for a championship contender.