PHILADELPHIA Jrue Holiday is not a household name when you talk about the top point guards in the NBA.
But there's at least one coach - Boston Celtics czar Doc Rivers - who could envision that changing soon.
Holiday comes into tonight's game averaging 18.2 points and 9.3 assists - both career highs.
Rivers has seen Holiday's game evolve on several levels, none being more apparent than his scoring ability.
"His shot set him free," Rivers said. "He struggled early on, inconsistent ... people were going under on all his pick and rolls."
But since he began making that shot - similar to what Rajon Rondo has done this season - Holiday has emerged as one of the top up-and-coming players in the East.
"His shot is what allowed him to see the floor more, and makes him so much more dangerous," Rivers said.
But aside from the talent, Rivers believes his most endearing quality is his toughness.
"He comes in to compete, every night," Rivers said. "That doesn't mean a perfect game, but he's a tough guard for us and everyone. He's stronger; you can visually see that. He's just a tough kid, really good player, an all-star player."
Rivers added that as Holiday's game has expanded, so has the way in which the Celtics - and all teams for that matter - prepare to face him.
But Rivers didn't need to see him have a breakout season like this to know that he's a player the Celtics have to concern themselves with tonight.
The approach to dealing with him now is no different than it was when these two met in the playoffs last season.
"We believed in him last year," Rivers said.