Pacers’ Tyrese Haliburton and Team USA lose to Canada: Final stats and takeaways
Similar to the Germany game, Tyrese Haliburton had a very up-and-down performance against Canada. He recorded six points (2-of-8 FG, 2-of-6 3PT), seven assists, five rebounds, a steal, and a block in a FIBA career-high 30:49 of playing time.
Team USA’s bronze medal hopes ultimately went unfulfilled, as Canada bested them in overtime with a final score of 118-127. Dillon Brooks, of all people, scored 39 points, and superstar Shai Gilgeous-Alexander contributed an additional 31 points.
Once again, Haliburton’s lack of efficiency stands out on the box score, as Haliburton shooting 2-of-8 is very uncharacteristic of him, especially in FIBA play, where he has been rather efficient, especially for a guard.
Unfortunately, these last two games were a diversion from the norm, especially the game against Canada. Haliburton took several ill-advised shots, specifically in the fourth quarter. His shot selection ultimately sparked a chain of events that nearly caused Team USA to lose in regulation.
Despite this inefficiency, Haliburton still led Team USA in +/- with +10, compared to the -17 of Jalen Brunson, who had the second-worst mark on the team.
As a matter of fact, Haliburton was such a positive for Team USA during his time on the court, especially in the last two losses to Germany and Canada, it started to look worse for Steve Kerr as to why he kept him on the bench for so long.
Sure enough, Kerr was still getting plenty of backlash from Pacers fans over his treatment of Haliburton.
Despite the positive effect of Haliburton being on the court, the talk will always come back to his faults, mainly his defense. As a bigger point guard at 6-foot-5, he has shown flashes of good on-ball and point-of-attack defense, even getting a career-high three blocks in a game against Greece. But on his worst days, you get moments like the ending of the Germany game, where he was left on the floor trying to guard a three-pointer.
Ultimately, Haliburton’s defense still leaves a lot to be desired, especially with his size and athleticism, but he is still only 23 years old, so he has plenty of time to improve on that end of the ball.
On the other side, Haliburton’s shot selection was subject to criticism in the Canada loss, as he was lambasted on social media for his ill-advised shot attempts. Some of his shots, especially the one in the final minute of regulation, were very poorly thought out.
However, this is easily fixable, and with Haliburton’s incredible basketball IQ, it should not be too much of a problem in the future.
I would go as far as to say that I would rather have Haliburton taking these shots as opposed to being afraid to shoot and not being aggressive at all, which he tends to do.
All in all, Tyrese Haliburton had a pretty good showing for Team USA in the 2023 FIBA World Cup, and he would be a very impressive addition to the 2024 Olympics roster, or at least he seems to think so.
Based on his FIBA play, and despite his limited minutes on the floor, plenty of people would agree with his assessment.