The finals: An unfortunate ending
Unfortunately, this win and celebration would be the peak of Indiana's tourney run, as they were stopped from winning it all by the mighty Los Angeles Lakers on a night where basically every Pacer had a bad shooting night.
The Lakers used a blitz attack on Haliburton, doubling and trapping him every step of the way, and Indiana's other players could not pick up the slack on offense, with the team shooting an abysmal 36% from the field and 24% from downtown as they eventually lost 109-123 to give the Lakers the first-ever In-Season Tournament championship.
While Tyrese Haliburton played relatively well, especially given the defense that was played on him, scoring 20 points on 8/14 shooting and dishing out 11 assists, nobody else on Indiana shot over 45% from the field and outside of Bennedict Mathurin, nobody on the team scored over 15 points.
Myles Turner, Buddy Hield, and Bruce Brown all disappointed on offense and defense, shooting a combined 8/31 from the field while Turner was the main defender on Anthony Davis, who scored 41 points on 16/24 shooting and pulled down an incredible 20 rebounds, more than Indiana's top three rebounders combined.
Unfortunately, while Indiana lost in the finals and eventually had to watch LeBron James and company hoist up the trophy they could have won, the Pacers have nothing to be ashamed of.
Tyrese Haliburton and company put on a fantastic six-game stretch and showed the national audience why they should be paid attention to. Haliburton, in particular, shined the brightest, with the tournament lights kicking his play into another gear as he had to work overtime for his team to get wins.
In the six games before the finals, Tyrese Haliburton averaged 28.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, 13.4 assists, and 1.6 steals on 50.5% from the field.
Despite the loss and the inaugural In-Season Tournament trophy residing in Los Angeles, Tyrese Haliburton and the Indiana Pacers have firmly placed themselves as the NBA team of the future, and maybe even the present.