The 2023 All-Star Game voting is complete and the starters are announced. Many thought that Tyrese Haliburton of the Pacers had put together a good enough season to start in the game, including some pretty big members of the media.
It seemed like many of the men and women who knew what they were talking about in the media felt that Tyrese Haliburton likely should be an all-star starter in 2023. However, as we have talked about previously on this site, the All-Star voting system is broken. It has become a popularity contest and thus, should have very little bearing on how good players are perceived to be. However, the commissioner continues to ignore the plight of the small market team, and thus, players that play for small markets at an elite level (Tyrese Haliburton, Damien Lillard, etc.) will continue to get the short end of the stick.
However, there was one player that absolutely should not be starting over Tyrese Haliburton.
Haliburton has played much better this season than Kyrie Irving.
Let’s just take a look at the numbers shall we?
Kyrie Irving: 26.8 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 48% FG, 37% FG3 in 36 games
Tyrese Haliburton: 20.2 points, 4 rebounds, 10 assists, 48% FG, 40% FG3 in 40 games
So the first obvious reason some people might think Kyrie deserves the nod is the fact that he is averaging about 6.5 more points a night than Haliburton. But there is more to this story than just mere points, correct?
Haliburton is averaging nearly 5 more assists, which assuming those are all 2-point buckets (hint, they aren’t), that is contributing at least 10 more points to the team per game and that’s conservative at best. Not only that Haliburton is shooting more efficiently than Irving, especially from behind the three point arc.
There is also the fact that one’s best ability, is availability, and even though Haliburton has been injured the last few games, he still has played more games for the Pacers this season. Irving’s game may look a bit flashier, but Haliburton’s game is more sustainable.
However, until the commissioner quits ignoring small-market teams, we will always be at a disadvantage, even when our players play better.