Pacers Report Cards: Grading every Pacers player's second-round performance

How did every Indiana Pacer perform in the team's second-round series win against New York?
Indiana Pacers v New York Knicks - Game Seven
Indiana Pacers v New York Knicks - Game Seven / Elsa/GettyImages
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Tyrese Haliburton

Stats: 7 Games, 33.6 MPG, 21.3 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 7 APG, 1.7 SPG, 0.9 BPG, 1.7 TOV, 0.7 FPG 53.8/43.9/80 Splits on 68.7% TS

Who better to start off with than the man with the most eyes on him since the start of the playoffs? After a decent first series against Milwaukee where he perhaps didn't shoot as much as people wanted him to and was a bit more passive than usual, Tyrese Haliburton's play was called into question heading into the second-round series vs New York. Specifically, people were wondering if Haliburton could get it done against a defense as stifling as the Knicks' and bring it upon himself to shoot more when needed.

To start off the series, it looked like Haliburton would struggle with his shot, as he only took six shots and scored six points in Indiana's Game 1 loss. Following this loss, Haliburton was torn apart by the media and ridiculed by New York fans who scoffed at people comparing him to Jalen Brunson.

In Game 2, Haliburton managed to pick up his shooting struggles, taking 19 shots and scoring 34 points in another close loss as the Pacers went down 0-2. Despite this inspired performance, Haliburton was still seen as not bringing enough to the table as the Pacers stared down a potential 3-0 series deficit.

Fortunately, Haliburton's 35 points helped Indiana squeak out a come-from-behind Game 3 win by the skin of their teeth after his own fourth-quarter takeover. He followed this up with 20 points on 15 shots in Game 4, with a high-scoring number not being necessary as the Pacers beat the Knicks by 32 points to tie up the series.

Unfortunately, Haliburton's lack of aggressiveness showed once again in Game 5, as he only scored 13 points and took nine shots as Indiana got blown out in New York. He followed this up with a modest 15 points on 12 shot attempts in a Game 6 blowout which was enough considering Pascal Siakam's 25 points. However, for the Pacers to get a series-clinching Game 7 win in Madison Square Garden, it would have to be all Haliburton.

Sure enough, Tyrese Haliburton was up for the challenge. Taking 17 shots and scoring 26 points, including six three-pointers, Haliburton led the Pacers as they silenced the MSG crowd and stole Game 7 and the series on the road. Along the way, Haliburton created some memorable moments, such as continuously taunting a Knicks fan who was talking trash and wearing a Reggie Miller 'choke' hoodie in the postgame press conference.

Tyrese Haliburton's second round was filled with some downs, but mostly ups. He responded well after every poor performance and saved his best for last, becoming the latest New York villain and stamping his legacy as a Pacer in the process.

Final Grade: A (Could have been more aggressive, but got it done in full)