3 Positives, 3 negatives from Pacers’ Tyrese Haliburton’s FIBA World Cup – Negative (Inconsistent) – Defense
Defense has never been Tyrese Haliburton’s strong suit. While, at times, he uses his above-average height for a point guard and his quickness to get sneaky steals in transition and even a few blocks, other times, he is caught slipping on the defensive side, giving up open shots and drives.
Of course, the most infamous example comes from Team USA’s semifinal loss to Germany. Haliburton was put on the floor by Andreas Obst, giving up an open three-pointer that ultimately helped Germany come away with the win, thus eliminating Team USA from a potential gold medal.
However, despite these blunders, Haliburton also showed some improvements on the defensive side of the ball, delivering some flashes of improved on-ball and point-of-attack defense, which should definitely have Pacers fans excited for next season.
Haliburton has also shown some surprisingly good shot-blocking ability, even setting his FIBA career-high in blocks against Greece with three for the game. This makes sense due to his high basketball IQ, combined with his size and impressive athleticism at the guard spot.
I don’t think Tyrese Haliburton is ever going to evolve into a perennial Defensive Player of the Year candidate or anything, but if his FIBA flashes are anything to go by, his defense is steadily improving. He can definitely be an above-average defender with his current size and skilllset.