The Indiana Pacers decided to shake up this year’s trade landscape with a massive trade for Pascal Siakam that saw Bruce Brown, Jordan Nwora, and three first-round picks sent to the Toronto Raptors.
They brought in Siakam to play with superstar point guard Tyrese Haliburton, as the youngster had been carrying a heavy load for the Pacers all season long.
In their first game together as a tandem, Haliburton and Siakam took on the Portland Trail Blazers, but unfortunately, they fell by a score of 118-115, as Malcolm Brogdon and Jerami Grant both had 30-point nights,
After the game, Haliburton spoke about his first game with Siakam, calling it a learning experience for both of them and discussing his excitement to continue to grow with his new co-star.
“It was just learning how to go on the fly. Just going off of our basketball brains,” Haliburton said. “It was like playing pick-up out there, you know? But that’s the fun part. That’s the exciting part of us, you know? We got back here, and we were like, man, we played alright, but there’s so much more room for us. We're just still figuring out your rhythm. That takes time. It takes time for anybody. Any partnership. So, we’re figuring it out. And it’ll be better on a game-to-game basis. So, just want to keep going and figuring it out.”
In his debut for the Pacers, Siakam put up 21 points, six rebounds, three assists, and one steal while shooting 9-of-14 from the field and 1-of-3 from behind the three-point line.
As for Haliburton, he ended the game with 21 points, two rebounds, and 17 assists (with zero turnovers) while shooting 6-of-14 from the field and 2-of-7 from beyond the three-point arc.
Unfortunately, as noted, the Trail Blazers played spoiler to Siakam’s Pacers debut because of Brogdon and Grant. Brogdon had 30 points, seven rebounds, and six assists, while Grant put up 37 points, four rebounds, and three assists.
As Haliburton and Siakam keep getting reps together, their on-court chemistry will inevitably improve, and the wins will likely start to pile up more and more.
The Pacers were already a solid team before they snagged Siakam, and now they have another All-Star playing next to Haliburton. That’s a huge win, regardless of the result in their first game together.