The Pacers have lost their closer when they need him the most

The Indiana Pacers lost another close game because their closer is in the worst struggle of his career. He's playing the worst when they need him the most.
Mar 18, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton (0) shoots the ball
Mar 18, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton (0) shoots the ball / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Indiana Pacers were trying to get a win at home against a good Cleveland Cavaliers team. Even though they're good, they were without two starters for this game, including their best player in Donovan Mitchell. It's the type of game that the Pacers needed to win, especially at home.

Instead, they lost another close game. The Cavs beat them 108-103 in a game the Pacers were leading by as much as 15 points. The third quarter is what did Indiana in this time, which is strange because that's usually their best quarter. Instead, it was their worst.

The Pacers used to win these games. They were much better in clutch situations earlier in the season. That's because their closer was playing like an All-NBA player. Now, Tyrese Haliburton is barely playing like an All-Star reserve with how poorly he's shooting it.

Tyrese Haliburton has to play through his struggles for the Pacers to get better

In order for things to improve, Haliburton has to improve. He had another bad game shooting-wise in this one, hitting just 4/14 from the field and 1/9 from three. His inability to hit shots from beyond the arc is stifling what the Pacers can do on offense and it's killing the spacing on the floor.

Teams are shading his right hand and forcing him to drive left. He's not doing it well. Instead, he's settling for step-back threes that aren't going in. He has an excellent floater and can make crafty layups. Why is he still afraid to drive to the rim on a regular basis?

If Haliburton is still hurt, he needs to not be playing. He needs to get that hamstring right so this team can actually do something in the playoffs. I understand he has a big contract incentive to keep playing right now, but that's not what's best for him or the team. He might play his way off the All-NBA team if he keeps it up.

On the bright side, Haliburton did have 12 assists. He is still elite at finding his teammates even when his shot isn't falling. He always has been a pass-first point guard, which is what makes him so fun to play with. It's good that hasn't fallen off to much.

Next. Next story. 5 players who turned their backs on the Indiana Pacers. dark

Haliburton needs to get in the lab and fix his shot and he needs to do it ASAP.