ANALYSIS: WHY SIXERS' JRUE HOLIDAY SHOULD SIT OUT TEXAS ROADTRIP
DALLAS – Jrue Holiday sat on the 76ers' bench Tuesday morning, following the team's shootaround. He had a bag of ice on his bum left foot, and struggled to remember the last time he had a foot injury.
Ultimately, the Sixers' point guard said he had a right foot stress fracture, affecting the fifth metatarsal. (Kudos to the kid for remembering the medical jargon.) That was his freshman year of high school, and it happened while playing football.
“I never played football again,” Holiday said.
Holiday felt good enough following the Sixers' shootaround Monday at PCOM to board a flight to Texas, for the first of two games in two days. He said he felt more pain than he had expected in that left foot of his, which he initially injured Dec. 12 against Chicago.
Because of the nagging pain, because of how valuable Holiday has been to the Sixers, and because of the cramped nature of their upcoming schedule of games … Holiday probably shouldn't consider playing Tuesday in Dallas, or even Wednesday in Houston.
The 22-year-old is turning heads in the league, and among voters for the All-Star Game, with his 18.4 points and 8.9 assists per-game averages. He's been a rock for the Sixers, who have yet to get Andrew Bynum on the floor.
So why risk further injury, right?
“What am I going to do – put him out there and have him tear up his knee because he's playing on one foot?” Sixers coach Doug Collins said Tuesday, at American Airlines Center. “That would be really silly (to do) to win a game in December. Do we want to win? Absolutely. But that's why you have 13 guys on your team. Now it's up to somebody else getting an opportunity. Evan (Turner's) got the ball. We've got Dorell (Wright) handling the ball a little bit. Now is not the time to panic. Can't do it.”
Holiday's a gamer. He's not averaging 38 minutes per game accidentally. He wants to win, and he wants to be there for his teammates. But even he understands why it'd be in the Sixers' best interests if he watched Tuesday's game from the bench, as opposed to from the hardwood.
“It is tricky. I feel like we can win a lot of games. I feel like I can help my team. That's a lot of pressure to put on me to come back,” Holiday said. “At the same time, your foot is probably one of the most important parts of just playing basketball, being able to walk, run, jump, all that stuff you have to do to be on your feet. I'm going to try to get back as soon as possible.”
Following these games in Texas, the Sixers host Atlanta Friday then head to Brooklyn for an afternoon tip Sunday. Then, after two days off, they don't play again until Dec. 26 in Memphis.
It's not ridiculous to think the Sixers are considering keeping Holiday on the shelf until then. Getting through six games without him is slightly more manageable than getting through 20.
“We can't make this a residual thing. We can't take an acute injury and make it chronic,” Collins said.
Which is probably why Holiday will be in a suit Tuesday instead of a uniform.