Playoffs 2021

Jrue Holiday: Milwaukee Bucks guard makes impact felt in Game 1 victory over Miami Heat

When the Milwaukee Bucks traded Eric Bledsoe and four future first-round draft picks for Jrue Holiday this offseason, heads were turned.

Holiday has long been seen as one of the most underrated players in the NBA but a player and four first-round picks for a one-time All-Star seemed like a massive haul.

It only took one playoff game for that trade to become justified, as Holiday's fingerprints were all over the Bucks' thrilling overtime win over the Miami Heat.

MORE: Khris Middleton's game-winner caps Game 1 OT thriller

While Middleton's buzzer-beating game-winner will rightfully steal headlines, Milwaukee may have not been in a position to win Game 1 without Holiday's contributions.

It goes well beyond his double-double of 20 points and 11 rebounds to go with three assists and three steals. His defence was as good as advertised and he came up clutch when the Bucks needed him most.

In the third quarter, Holiday turned things up a notch with 11 points shooting 5-for-7 from the field to help give Milwaukee a boost to take a two-point lead going into the fourth quarter.

Fast forward to overtime, where Holiday made two crucial plays down the stretch to help the Bucks close things out with a win.

First, it was a hustle play to chase down a defensive rebound and take the ball coast-to-coast to extend Milwaukee's lead to three points with under a minute to play.

And when Middleton's clutch go-ahead jumper left 0.5 seconds on the game clock, giving Miami one last chance to tie or win the game, who else but Holiday to come away with the game-sealing block on Jimmy Butler?

"It felt good. This is why we play, man. This is why we play the game. Moments like this, games like this, this opportunity. This is why I'm here, I want to feel this moment, the pressure and all that," Holiday told NBA.com's Kane Pitman following the victory.

"This was a fun first game but we've still got work to do."

The Bucks and Heat will face off for Game 2 on Monday, May 24 at 7:30 p.m. ET.

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