Best point guard in the Basketball Champions League
ZAGREB (Croatia) - Basketball is such an easy game to play when you've got a fine point guard to run the show. When his name is David Holston, it's probably best to sit back, relax and enjoy the school in progress out there.
What do you need to know about the man who is making the local government think about renaming Dijon into Holstown? David is 35, about to be 36 in January, he plays for JDA Dijon he wins games for JDA Dijon, he's 5'6''/1.67m tall, he is from Pontiac, Michigan, spent his college days with Chicago State and is currently in year 13 as pro in Europe.
That's a lot of time. A Lot. A LOT.
"When I first got (to Europe), I was trying to show I can score. But I had some veterans on the team who were telling me, 'man, to have a good career over here, you gotta do this, do that, listen to the coach, get other guys involved.' That's how you'll get a longer career," Holston said in his interview with the EuroSteppin Podcast Presented by Next Ones.
The way he played against Unicaja, it seemed like his career could go on forever. Leading Dijon to their second win of the season, to get them to 2-2 and keep alive the dream of winning the group, Holston had 16 points and 6 assists.
In the first half.
Against Unicaja, the team with the best defensive rating in the entire Basketball Champions League this season, allowing 94.2 points per 100 possessions.
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But Unicaja found out first hand what everybody in France already knew, and what followers of the BCL have also realized over the past three seasons. When he's hot, there's no stopping him.
It's not about scoring, either. We have guys in this league who can torch you for 30+ points, but when Holston's hot, he'll make sure there's a W standing next to that game in the season schedule. Whatever it takes. Here's how he explained it in the aforementioned podcast:
"A lot of coaches over here, they know you can score, but they ask you 'how can you make the team better?' You gotta be able to win, instead of just scoring. That's one of the main things (playing overseas), you gotta be able to win. You could be the top scorer of the league, but is your team winning?"
You may look at his BCL season stats (10.8ppg, 5.3apg) and think all of this is one gigantic exaggeration. Well, it is. That's what Help-Side Column is here for, since day one.
But then again, over the eight gamedays of the French League this season, David Holston has gone to 30+ twice, dished out 9 assists in three different games and won the MVP TCL-Europe du week-end award three times.
It's not like his season in the BCL has been horrible. It's just been in the shadows of others doing crazy stuff since the season began, of BCL games going to overtimes and double overtimes, of guys like Kenny Goins hitting the game-winning shots so Holston's long distance bombs to tie the game up on the previous play just went a couple of scrolls too low on your screen. And you forgot about it. It's okay. It's been that kind of a season.
His game against Unicaja was just a masterclass of what point guards need to do on an elite level. Unicaja tried everything. Everything. Every-1v1-switch-hedge-level-drop-deny-thing. Nothing worked.
They switched screen-rolls, Holston probably went "LOL" in his mind and just blew by half a meter taller defenders.
They tried hedging, Holston probably went "suuuuuuure" in his mind and just escaped the trap by sprinting to the side so fast that the big guy moving laterally couldn't get in front of him, meaning it was basically 5v3 since Unicaja's big guy movement stopped Holston's primary defender.
They tried pushing him to the side, he found the pocket passes to Gavin Ware, who had 20 points before the break, six of his 10 field goals coming after Holston's assists. They tried meeting him at the level of the screen, or dropping just below it, Holston just threw his specialty, the one handed alley-oop in the middle of his dribble drive.
And finally, he destroyed them 1v1. The hesi moves, man, those are just a trademark.
"Seen it too many times," Obi Emegano commented. The Nigerian Olympian played alongside Holston, and against him in his club career.
The icing on the cake are the stepbacks. No need to explain. Just look at this one from the French League.
To be fair, Unicaja's night wasn't the best of all time. Coach Fotis Katsikaris admitted it himself:
"It wasn't about tactics. We were late from the jump ball, we were one click behind. Holston had a very, very comfortable night tonight. He felt so good, I don't think he's gonna take a shower."
But hey, you don't have to trust me. You don't have to be impressed by 16 and 6 at the half or 19 and 9 at the end of the night, and a win over a contender.
You could say the best point guard in the BCL is Marcelinho Huertas, and I'd say you have a point, because Marcelinho is one of the best point guards to ever play the game, period. Actually, exclamation mark! Lenovo Tenerife need to offer him a lifetime contract, now.
You could say the best point guard in the BCL is Quino Colom, and I'd say you have a point, because Quino does whatever his team needs him to do. Sometimes it's scoring 20+, other times it's flirting with a triple-double. AEK have their leader, and picking a world champion is always a safe pick around here.
You could say the best point guard in the BCL is Dee Bost, and I'd say you have a point, because Dee is somebody you hate to see on both ends of the floor when you're playing against Galatasaray Nef. The fact that he's not forcing anything, but letting Melo Trimble and DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell go to work says he's the same as Holston, knowing it's about winning.
You could say the best point guard in the BCL is Dani Perez, and I'd say you have a point, because Dani is orchestrating the offense of the best team in the BCL this season, the only unbeaten team of the League, BAXI Manresa. And you have to respect the man who led the Spanish League, the mighty Liga Endesa in assists per game last season, ahead of Marcelinho Huertas, Omar Cook, Nick Calathes and Pierria Henry.
But as long as David Holston is around, you'll have to say I've got a point, too.
Time to vote, people. Who's the best point guard in the BCL?
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