Tyrese Haliburton shows off his intelligence in Pacers win

The Pacers beat the Pistons in a dominant game. Tyrese Haliburton showed off how smart he is in the victory in a multitude of ways.

Mar 20, 2024; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Evan Fournier (31) defends against
Mar 20, 2024; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Evan Fournier (31) defends against / David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

The Indiana Pacers took down the Detroit Pistons 122-103 on Wednesday night in a game that wasn't close after the first quarter. Indiana really stepped on the gas in the second half and pulled away from a hapless Pistons team that can't seem to win. It was also an impressive game for Indiana's superstar player.

Tyrese Haliburton has struggled in a major way in the last few months. He broke out of that on Wednesday night by scoring 20 points on 9/13 shooting. Surprisingly, he had just 9 assists, which is low for him. That could be because he only played 26 minutes in the blowout.

Haliburton showed off his intelligence in this victory though. In the last few games, he's been pressing to take threes, settling for step-back threes that are hard for anyone to hit. Against the Pistons, he attempted just three three-points shots, draining one of them.

Tyrese Haliburton used his driving skills to help the Pacers win

Instead of relying on a jump shot that has mostly been broken in the last few months, Haliburton drove to the hoop way more often. Because of his length, it's extremely tough for opponents to block his shots when he gets close to the rim and he uses crafty angles to get the ball in the hoop.

Haliburton is a much more dangerous player when he has the confidence to drive the ball to the rim. I'm not sure why he hasn't been doing more of that in the last few months. Perhaps he was still nursing his hamstring. Maybe coaches finally told him that's what he needs to do in order to be effective right now.

In any case, Haliburton showed off his Basketball IQ by not settling for jumpers against a bad Detroit team. He also started driving left a little bit more and even had a lefty driving hook shot that he made. If he starts making those, defenses are in trouble because they have been shading him to his right.


This could be the type of game that could push Haliburton out of his shooting slump completely. Perhaps the Pacers star finally has his confidence back.