Tyrese Haliburton Has A Career Night In Pacers Loss To Heat

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Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton was named to his first All-Star team last season when he averaged 20 points and 10 assists on the year. But based on his production through the first five weeks of the current campaign, 2023-24 might be regarded as his real breakout season.

Tyrese Haliburton Shines In Indy’s Loss To Miami

The Pacers were one of the early surprises through the first 10 or so games of the season. They were 6-3 at one point, thanks in large part to their dynamic and league-leading offense. No one in the NBA scores more points per game than Indiana, as they are averaging 127.6 per. They give up plenty of baskets, though, and their lack of defense has been largely to blame for losing five of their last eight games.

One of those losses included Thursday night’s contest against the Miami Heat, in which Tyrese Haliburton had the highest scoring total of his career. Earlier this season, he put up 43 to mark his then-career high in a game that wound up being a 1-point loss for the Pacers, but he topped that number on Thursday. Haliburton dropped 44 against Miami, making him Indiana’s leading scorer for the 8th time in the past 9 games.

Haliburton’s Assist Numbers Are Even More Impressive

It isn’t just his scoring numbers that have been impressive. Haliburton is the NBA’s leader in assists per game at 11.9, which is 1.5 more than the next highest and almost 3 assists higher than third place. With his 26+ points and 11.9 assist per game average combined with his 45.6% three-point percentage (on 8.3 attempts) give him some of the best numbers of any player in the league thus far, period.

While Tyrese Haliburton has flourished, it is hard to tell if his team will keep afloat in the Eastern Conference. The scoring output has been fantastic, but the shooting percentages will likely regress back to the mean in at least some fashion at some point in the season. If and when that happens, the defense will have to tighten up in order to avoid allowing 125 points per.

The Pacers have an up and down schedule over the next couple of weeks, as they will take on the Heat, Celtics, and Bucks as well as the Wizards and Pistons.

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