• Two things on Holiday getting the starting nod over Irving and Rondo:
1. It's very hard to argue Rondo has been better than Holiday this season. The only pieces of evidence are these: Rondo is shooting 48.7 percent, compared to 45.8 percent for Holiday, and he's dishing two more assists per game.
Beyond that, it's all Holiday. The shooting percentage gap vanishes when you consider Holiday is hitting 37 percent from deep — an above-average number — on three attempts per game, grabbing a much larger scoring role in Philadelphia's offense,1 and getting to the line more than Rondo. That last thing is damning for Rondo as Boston desperately seeks more assertiveness from him; it's hard to find a heavy-minutes point guard who gets to the line significantly less often than Holiday, but Rondo is one such player.
Holiday has also been especially good in the clutch, shooting 20-of-45 in the last five minutes of close games as Philly's only reliable creator. He single-handedly destroyed Toronto on Friday at the end of regulation and in overtime to cement his case.
2. Rondo's defense has slipped into Kobe Bryant/Kyle Lowry aimless freelancing territory, while Holiday continues to soundly hound guys at both guard positions. Rondo is still a worthy All-Star, obviously. He combines Andre Miller's professorial understanding of spacing, angles, and timing with turbo speed and creative finishing — when he actually chooses to finish. But Holiday has been better this season.
Irving has probably been better than both of them, but he's missed 11 of Cleveland's 42 games and is still a subpar defender. He's getting better on that end, and had he played more this season, he'd probably deserve to start.