Why the Indiana Pacers’ Tyrese Haliburton should be an all-star starter

Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

Tyrese Haliburton is having a great season for the Indiana Pacers so far. Much of the league and fans are still stunned as to why the Sacramento Kings would part with a franchise cornerstone like Haliburton was looking to become.

Since arriving in Indiana, Haliburton has been somewhat of a revelation, reigniting the fanbase and bring energy to a tired Pacers franchise. However, a case could be made that Haliburton still is not receiving the national attention he deserves.

Sure, he plays for a small market team that is playing mediocre basketball at times. But many nights Haliburton is single-handedly keeping the Pacers in games when other players are having rough shooting nights. So let’s take a look at the league leaderboards to see just how good Haliburton has been this season so far.

Offense (Rank in League)

274 total assists (1st)
11.0 assists per game (1st)
51.5 assist percentage (1st)
73 total 3-pt field goals (9th)
3.0 offensive win shares (6th)
6.9 offensive plus/minus (4th)
127.6 offensive rating (12th)

It is clear from the above statistics that Haliburton is one of the top offensive threats in the game. He is showing an ability to hit from deep as well as leads the league in every meaningful assist statistic, which is one of the biggest measures of success for a point guard.

And Tyrese, while he doesn’t often get the credit that he deserves, is also among the league leaders in some defensive categories as well, seen below.

Defense (Rank in League)

46 steals (4th)
1.8 steals per game (4th)
2.6 steal percentage (6th)

While there are certainly times when Tyrese could look a bit better on defense, he is obtaining steals at a top-10 in the league level, in terms of total steals, steals per game, and steal percentage. Steals, much like assists on offense, are a hallmark of an elite point guard, and Haliburton is showing an ability to rise to the occasion and do just that.

And on top of his offensive and defensive success, Haliburton is also among the league leaders in some advanced statistical categories:

Advanced (Rank in League)

24.1 player efficiency rating (15th)
2.0 value over replacement player (7th)

Being among the league leaders in so many categories validates Haliburton’s performance this season and shows that he absolutely should be the Eastern Conference starter at the point guard position. Only time will tell if the votes will follow.

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