Breaking down Tyrese Haliburton's last 5 performances in return from injury

Indiana Pacers star Tyrese Haliburton has been back from his injury, but how has he been playing?
Indiana Pacers, Tyrese Haliburton, Pacers Injury Report
Indiana Pacers, Tyrese Haliburton, Pacers Injury Report / Andy Lyons/GettyImages
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Taking Tyrese Haliburton's injury restriction into account

To start, I think it would be best to discuss the elephant in the room, that being Haliburton's limited minutes since his return to the lineup. Averaging around 34 minutes per game before the injury, it was expected that Haliburton's minutes would be staggered a bit in his first few return games to avoid the very realistic chance of a re-injury or a re-aggravation.

As such, Haliburton has been limited to around 22 minutes per game, which has been the subject of some discourse among Pacers fans. While they are not particularly upset about the restriction itself, as it allows Haliburton to get back into the swing of playing full NBA minutes, something he hasn't done in almost a full month at this point, they are a bit weary about the placement of said minutes and when he should and shouldn't be on the floor.

For example, the first two games of Haliburton's return campaign were against the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks. In these games, Haliburton played quite well for someone coming off injury rehab, but both of these games were lost in the fourth quarter.

Coincidentally, Haliburton only played six minutes in the second half of the Boston loss and another six in the second half of the New York loss. This issue becomes prominent when a closer look is taken at the box scores of these games, revealing that Indiana vastly outplayed their competition when Haliburton was on the floor compared to when he was on the bench when they would eventually squander their momentum.

Despite the inconsistent team play, Haliburton himself has been quite impressive in his return, averaging 15.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 0.8 steals, and, surprisingly, 1.2 blocks per game on 52.5/36/75 splits in exactly 23 minutes per game.

Adjusting this to his pre-injury minutes average of 33.4 returns the full picture, as with no minutes restriction, Haliburton would potentially average 22.4 points, 7.8 assists, 3.7 rebounds, 1.1 steals, and 1.7 blocks per game. While these per-33.4-minute stats aren't concrete by any means, they are an interesting tidbit to note when judging just how rusty Haliburton has been since his return and how much more room he has to grow, given that he has only just played his sixth game with Siakam.