Currently, the Indiana Pacers sit tied for third in the Eastern Conference with a 7-4 record and are proud owners of the best offense in the NBA. I have talked about this fantastic offense in previous works, but this time, I would like to take a closer look at the man behind the best offense in the league: Tyrese Haliburton.
When Indiana traded for Haliburton at the 2022 NBA trade deadline, they were certainly expecting an offensive boost, as they let go of a good playmaker, albeit a primary post player, in Domantas Sabonis.
Sure enough, Indiana's offense took a major leap as soon as Haliburton put on a Pacers uniform, and despite a losing 2022-23 season, the Pacers looked fantastic before he went down with an injury and were poised to make the playoffs, eventually ending in the lottery for the third year in a row.
This year has been a completely different story. With a mostly healthy rotation and Haliburton suiting up for all but one game, the Pacers are at or near the top of the league in most offensive categories with Haliburton at the helm, with most of this being as a result of his play. Let's dive into the stats a bit.
It's no surprise that Tyrese Haliburton is a fantastic playmaker. In fact, his 12.5 assists per game which lead the league almost seem besides the point as this is something we have come to expect from the point guard.
Haliburton's playmaking ability was always fantastic, but this season, he has somehow unlocked a new facet of playmaking, which has led to him having amazing assist totals with minimal turnovers. In fact, with Tuesday's performance against the 76ers in the books, Haliburton's 32 assists in a two-game span with zero turnovers set a new NBA record.
In terms of individual players, Haliburton leads the league in offensive rating with 126.8 and has also helped three other Pacers make the top 10 in that category. Haliburton also ranks first in assist percentage with 49.6%, far above second place Trae Young's 41.6%.
In addition to these assists, Haliburton is also fourth in the league in assist/turnover ratio, logging six assists for every turnover, and the Pacers' overall fast play with Haliburton has led to four Pacers making the top 10 in individual pace. As a reminder, Haliburton is doing this with a mere 24.0 usage rate, lower than people like Jonathan Kuminga, Jaden Hardy, and Jordan Clarkson.
Haliburton's passing is not the only thing that has stood out this year. As we know, Tyrese Haliburton is a fantastic shooter, but this year he has somehow taken that up a notch too on even more attempts.
Through 10 games, Haliburton is shooting 52.8% from the field, great for any player, let alone a point guard taking mostly perimeter shots. In addition to this, Haliburton is still knockdown from beyond the arc, shooting 43% from three and shooting 93% from the free throw line, giving him an effective field goal percentage of 63% and a true shooting of 67.7%, good for 11th in the league.
Even more impressive is just how much his scoring has improved in just a year's span, with Haliburton's scoring increasing from 17.8 points to 25.7 points per game from November of 2022 to November of 2023, a 7.9-point increase, which is even more impressive when you see that his efficiency is better across the board on the same amount of assists.
It's no surprise that Tyrese Haliburton has been incredible this year, but a lot of people still don't know just how impressive he has been. Hopefully a closer look at the stats alerts more people and gets more of them on the Haliburton and Indiana Pacers bandwagon while there are still spots open.