The Bucks’ Jrue Holiday is expected to return to the lineup Sunday against the Clippers after missing 10 straight games.

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The Milwaukee Bucks caused quite a stir this offseason when they acquired Jrue Holiday from the New Orleans Pelicans in what turned out to be a four-team mega-trade. Unfortunately, Holiday hasn’t had many opportunities to adjust to his new team.

Due to a period in the league’s health and safety protocols, Holiday has been limited to just 23 games in his first season with the Bucks. Luckily for Milwaukee, he’s on his way back and likely to play as early as Sunday against the Los Angeles Clippers, according to a report by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Holiday has been on the sidelines for nearly three weeks and has missed the last 10 Bucks games. While nothing has been confirmed, such a prolonged absence could mean he tested positive for COVID-19. Khris Middleton’s comments after the team’s win over the Denver Nuggets earlier this month back that up.

“You definitely think so, especially for Jrue,” Middleton said. “It’s nothing to play with. And once he tested positive, you immediately think of his health, his safety, and then his family at home. He also has young children that he has to worry about. So I think he was a great part of what was going through my head before the game. I only thought about him and his family at home. ”

Without Holiday in the lineup, the Bucks have been hot and cold, posting a 5-5 record that included a five-game losing streak and a current four-game winning streak. Holiday’s return will give them a big boost as they hope to score five wins in a row on Sunday. In particular, they will need Holiday’s defensive skills against the mighty Clippers.

Obviously, his absence isn’t the only factor, but look at this difference on the defensive side:

Before the holiday entry protocol



During Holiday’s absence



Holiday, averaging a career-high 1.9 steals per game before entering protocol, is the Bucks’ best perimeter defender and is often responsible for protecting the team’s top offensive option. It might take a while before he can do that for more than 30 minutes a night again, but just having his presence on the court will be huge for the Bucks.

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