Jayson Tatum sends message on Tyrese Haliburton after Celtics clobber Pacers

After the Indiana Pacers' brutal loss to the Boston Celtics, Jayson Tatum had some high praise for Tyrese Haliburton and his team.
Indiana Pacers, Boston Celtics, Tyrese Haliburton, Jayson Tatum
Indiana Pacers, Boston Celtics, Tyrese Haliburton, Jayson Tatum / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

The Indiana Pacers have been putting together a solid season, exceeding most of the expectations set for them heading into the year. They have a real shot to earn a playoff spot.

Tyrese Haliburton has been incredible this season, especially as a playmaker. He’s put up multiple 20-assist games this year and is the driving force of almost every Pacers win.

Unfortunately, Indiana’s hot stretch of play came to an abrupt end on Saturday night, as they got whomped by the Boston Celtics by a score of 118-101.

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown each put up 30-point games, and there was nothing the Pacers could do to slow him down. Despite a third-quarter run, Indiana wasn’t able to keep up.

After the game, however, Tatum still found time to praise the Pacers and, more specifically, Haliburton. He emphasized the importance of focusing against Indiana and how Haliburton is the undeniable leader of the squad.

“You really gotta lock in,” Tatum said. “This is a really good team. They’ve been playing really well. They just play with so much energy, and Tyrese is the head of that snake. How much space and pace that they play with. How unselfish they are. They never really hold it. They just keep moving. You never can relax.”

Haliburton’s dominance was unfortunately cut short against the Celtics, as his 11-game streak of putting up at least 10 assists ended. Boston slowed him down and mitigated his impact.

The Pacers star ended the game with 17 points, six rebounds, seven assists, and five steals but shot just 5-of-17 from the field and 2-of-9 from behind the three-point line.

And on the defensive end, Brown was getting whatever he wanted in the paint, as he was able to drive right through Haliburton without much resistance.

That said, it’s clear that Tatum respects Haliburton and the Pacers, which makes sense, considering Indiana took down Boston in the Play-In Tournament with a 10-point win.

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The Pacers still have some kinks to iron out before the playoffs come around, but if Tatum and the Celtics - the best team in the NBA - have good things to say about them, they’re obviously doing something right.