The New Orleans Pelicans are on the way up, while the Atlanta Hawks are on the way down. The former has been sparked by the return of Jrue Holiday, who took some time away from the NBA to be with his ill wife, while the latter has lost the past two games. On Tuesday, the Hawks will take on the Pelicans, as reported by ESPN.
There is a delicate balance between sports and life. New Orleans Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry understands that. He knows that he needs the team to do well so that he does not lose his job. However, Gentry also knows that he cannot rush Jrue Holiday back after the traumatic family situation that he has been dealing with over the past several weeks.
With a sluggish start that saw the team lose their first eight games of the regular season, the New Orleans Pelicans have been forced to deal with rumors about Anthony Davis needing to be traded to another team in the NBA so that the superstar forward can have a legitimate chance of winning a championship. The fear is that management is not going to be able put enough talent around Davis to keep him happy.
Before the NBA regular season started, word broke that Jrue Holiday was going to need some time away from the New Orleans Pelicans because his wife had a tumor. The dynamic guard gained a lot of sympathy and respect because he was putting his family ahead of his job. Basketball took a backseat to something much more important.
Now that his wife is doing much better, Jrue Holiday is able to get back on the basketball court. He gets to do something that will help him greatly get his mind off of what was going on in his personal life. With two victories since he has returned, it appears that Holiday has a newfound focus. He seems a bit more rejuvenated.
That is bad news for the Atlanta Hawks.
Over the summer, management had to make a very tough decision that they knew was eventually going to need to be made. The Atlanta Hawks had a very good point guard in Jeff Teague. However, they also had one with huge potential on the bench in Dennis Schroder. The Hawks had to make the tough decision to trade Teague to the Indiana Pacers because Shroder was not going to accept being a bench player forever.
As expected with someone making the adjustment from being a bench player to joining the starting lineup, Dennis Schroder has been a bit of a roller coaster ride thus far this season. The Atlanta Hawks knew that he was going to have his ups and downs. Schroder has struggled in a couple of games, as he is still learning how to be a full-time distributor in an offense that requires ball movement and spacing.
Jrue Holiday is going to need to have a good game against the Atlanta Hawks if the New Orleans Pelicans want a chance at winning the game. Anthony Davis has been playing superbly this season, but he should be up for quite the battle with Paul Millsap and Dwight Howard. The latter has seemed quite rejuvenated since joining his hometown team as a free agent over the summer. Davis is more than likely going to put up some impressive numbers, but Millsap and Howard might be able to even things out.
With everything that has been going on in his life, worry about winning basketball games might be a whole lot easier for Jrue Holiday.
[Featured Image by Stacy Revere/Getty Images]