Five days after an impressive up an impressive performance in the opener against Puerto Rico, Tyrese Haliburton and Team USA were back on the floor for their second game against Slovenia. This was also the first game of a back-to-back, the only one of the exhibition games where they would also play Spain the next night, more on that game in a bit. This was also a bit of a break for Team USA, as Slovenia was missing Luka Doncic, who did not participate in this game but is participating in the World Cup regardless.
Similar to the first game, and a constant for most of his games, Tyrese Haliburton logged a pretty quiet first half. However, that is not to say he didn’t do anything of note, far from it. Haliburton was subbed in a bit earlier this time, this time a little over six minutes into the first quarter, and logged an assist 10 seconds later. His finest moment of the first half came from a rebound and full-court touchdown pass, all with the same hand, to Austin Reaves for an open layup at the end of the first quarter.
Tyrese would only score once in the first half but he would go on a bit of a scoring run in the second half, scoring in a variety of different ways, from up-and-unders, to threes, to and-1 finishes.
Once again, despite a slow start, Tyrese Haliburton would make his mark felt on the game and the stat sheet, putting up 10 points (4/8 FG, 1/4 3PT 1/1 FT), 6 assists, 4 rebounds, 1 steal, and only 1 turnover in 19:36 of playing time. Team USA would have no difficulty in this game either, cruising to a 92-62 victory over Slovenia.
Tyrese once again made his teammates look very comfortable on the floor leading the charge and would get a lot of easy buckets himself with his creation ability. It was also very interesting seeing him share the floor with fellow point guard Jalen Brunson and swingmen Anthony Edwards and Austin Reaves, making for some very fun backcourt combinations.
Tyrese’s basketball IQ was also on full display here, with his ability to see plays before they happen shining on this particular night, as demonstrated in this hockey assist to Austin Reaves.
However, this game was the first that I, and many others noticed Haliburton’s excessive passiveness with the ball, as he is sometimes too willing to pass the ball and should probably take it in for himself. Now, you will not hear me say a word about Tyrese Haliburton’s passing, as he is a very unselfish player, and his teammates love him for it, but he is also a very good scorer, and sometimes it feels like he is neglecting that part of the game to the detriment of himself.
Either way, if I was expecting a huge scoring output from Haliburton, I was not going to get what I wanted the next game.