Indiana Pacers: Haliburton’s all-star bid and his biggest competition for starting

Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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Its no secret that the Indiana Pacers are outperforming expectations to this point. Written off as a rebuilding team with their eyes on 2023 Draft phenom Victor Wembanyama, the Pacers have been in playoff positioning all season long.

While there have been contributions across the board from surprising rookies (Bennedict Mathurin, Andrew Nembhard), to vets having career years(Myles Turner, Buddy Hield), there is one man who has been leading the charge as the clear cut apex predator of the operation: Tyrese Haliburton.

Haliburton has gone from promising rookie to bona-fide star in only his third season in the league. With his otherworldly playmaking ability and craft bag of tricks on offense, it should come as a no-brainer he will receive his first all-star appearance, and some are saying he should even start in the game.

In this article, we will go over why Haliburton should be an all-star lock, and who his biggest competition is when it comes to earning one of the two coveted starting guard spots.

Tyrese Haliburton(19.5 PPG, 10.7 APG, 4 RPG, 1.7 SPG, 0.4 BPG)

As discussed already, Haliburton is having a career year for the Indiana Pacers. He is currently averaging career highs in points and assists per game, and is even leading the NBA in assists per game with a staggering 10.7 dimes a contest!

Haliburton is also 5th in the NBA in steals per game(1.7 SPG) and is shooting an elite 38.5% from three point land. Beyond the numbers, he has evolved into one of the NBA’s premier floor generals, as he is consistently getting team-mates open with his high IQ passes and is able to break down a defense’s scheme to find the best possible play.

In addition to his play itself,  the old saying goes “the best ability is availability” and Haliburton has certainly been available this season, suiting up for 29 of 31 possible games so far.  While he is not scoring as many points as some of the elite guards in the east, assists count for points too, and that should be considered when all-star voting is underway. Haliburton’s Pacers currently sit at 15-16, and are 9th in the Eastern Conference.

Now to take a look at who Haliburton’s biggest competition for an All-Star starter spot would be.