The Indiana Pacers are in the mix for the playoffs this year, but they’ve been dealing with a brutal setback as of late - a hamstring injury to Tyrese Haliburton.
Haliburton is in the middle of his best season yet, having just been named to his second-straight All_Star game, and his first one as a starter. Unfortunately, he’s been struggling a bit with injuries.
Though he’s since returned from his hamstring issue, Haliburton is still on a minutes restriction, meaning he’s only playined roughly 22 minutes at the moment.
On Friday night, however, the Pacers made a switch, saving the bulk of Haliburton’s minutes for the second half, allowing him to play in the fourth.
“He was in favor of having the ability to finish the game,” head coach Rick Carlisle said via ESPN. “The first two games, [starting] made sense."
Weirdly enough, though, this meant that Haliburton came off the bench against the Sacramento Kings.
Carlisle also stated that bringing Haliburton off the bench “was not an easy thing to do, obviously.” However, he also stressed that the minutes restriction is necessary for Haliburton’s overall well-being and recovery.
"So, sometimes you go through these kind of challenges,” Carlisle said.
Unfortunately, the gameplan switch-up didn’t work out, as the Kings walked away with a 133-122 win over the Pacers, jumping out to a lead in the second half and never looking back.
Haliburton finished the game with 14 points, three rebounds, one assist (a season-low), and one steal while shooting 6-of-10 from the field and 1-of-3 from behind the three-point line. He played 21:32 on the night, 4:56 of which were in the final frame.
The loss to Sacramento marked the Pacers’ third in a row, as they are now on a skid after winning three games in a row (and losing three in a row before that). Needless to say, they’ve been very streaky as of late.e