It’s not major news, but the Portland Trail Blazers have added Justin Holiday, a 6-6 guard/forward out of Washington, to complete their 20-man training camp roster.
And yes, he’s related to Jrue; his older brother to be exact.
The Trail #Blazers have claimed G/F Justin Holiday off waivers. Holiday is expected to join the team on Sunday. He will wear #10.
— Trail Blazers PR (@TrailBlazersPR) October 13, 2012
Holiday made a living with the Huskies as a defensive stopper and somewhat of a stat sheet stuffer. He averaged 10.5 points and 5.2 rebounds, and played 12 games where he posted at least one block and one steal. Holiday was also named the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year as a senior before going overseas to play in Belgium.
If there’s one reason why the Blazers would want to hang onto Holiday, it’s because of his defense. His teammates at Washington used to call him “the Fireman” because of his ability to extinguish even the hottest player on the court. A solid man defender would fit beautifully into coach Stotts’ defensive game plan, which relies heavily on isolation defense and not getting beat.
Still, the journey will be tough for Holiday to earn a spot on the roster. He was undrafted out of Washington and has already been cut from the Cleveland Cavaliers training camp squad. Even with Aalstar, one of the more premier teams in Belgium, Holiday could only muster up a mere 7.2 points and 2.9 rebounds in 33 games.
Portland’s clearly got their eyes on stocking their team with defensive talent, but Holiday may not make the final cut. If he doesn’t, all he can do is continue to work on his game and hope to make a team somewhere else.