Haliburton’s Final Stats and Takeaways
When it was all said and done, Tyrese Haliburton put up another solid performance, scoring 4 points, dishing out 12 assists (his second double-digit assist game), pulling down 4 rebounds, and even getting 3 steals in just under 22 minutes of action as Team USA hung in there to beat Spain by 10 points in a very tightly contested exhibition game that could be a sign of things to come for the tournament.
For the third straight game, Haliburton looked to push the pace as soon as he stepped on the floor, with his 12 assists indicative of how well he was setting up his teammates and being unselfish, perhaps a little too much.
Haliburton was great in coming up with advantages for Team USA and helping them take the lead and maintain it in the final stretches of the game, despite perhaps not being acknowledged enough for that.
In fact, in the 21 minutes of action Tyrese got, and the 12 assists he handed out, he really wasn’t named as much of a key contributor by the commentators at all, mostly doing his work in silence.
This lack of appreciation has not stopped Tyrese from doing what he does best, as he has dished out 30 assists in the 3 exhibition games he has played in. Haliburton has played just over 60 minutes total in the 3 games he has played so far, which equates to one assist approximately every 2 minutes of game time, which is a fantastic rate.
Nevertheless, Haliburton was also a very nice fit in the backcourt with starter Jalen Brunson, who scored a team-best 21 points on a perfect 9/9 shooting. Haliburton next to Brunson seemed the perfect backcourt fit, as Brunson is more of a shooting guard in a point guard’s body and Haliburton is more of a true point guard, so their being on the floor at the same time was a recipe for success.
Haliburton also worked well in other lineups, most notably his inclusion with Austin Reaves and Cam Johnson getting some love from social media.
And now I get to the elephant in the room, which is the low point total. Despite Brunson piling on the points with 21, there should be no reason that Tyrese Haliburton, a man who averaged close to 21 points last season with close to 50/40/90 splits should only be scoring 4 points. He wasn’t even awful from the field, it was just that he wasn’t getting touches and didn’t even look interested in scoring most of the time.
Add on the fact that Team USA was looking lost on a lot of possessions today, and you could imagine that Tyrese’s scoring potential could be of some help.
Nonetheless, we do have to remind ourselves that this is only the third of five exhibition games and the real FIBA World Cup tournament does not start for another 12 days, so Haliburton and Team USA have plenty of time to get to know each other and find out what works for them. I have plenty of faith in Steve Kerr and Erik Spoelstra, and I know that they will do what’s best for the success of Team USA.
All in all, in 3 games and about 20 minutes of action per game, Tyrese Haliburton is averaging 7 points, 4 rebounds, and leading Team USA with 10 assists per game as they have gone undefeated in exhibition play so far.
I am looking very forward to seeing what the rest of the exhibitions and the upcoming tournament have to offer, and I will be keeping a close eye on what Tyrese Haliburton brings to the table and what this could possibly mean for the 2023-24 season where Indiana is expected by a lot of people to be a dark horse playoff team in the Eastern Conference.