The Indiana Pacers picked up a big 125-111 win over the new-look New York Knicks on Saturday night, and for the first time in a while, Tyrese Haliburton looked like, well, Tyrese Haliburton. The All-Star guard posted 22 points and 12 assists on the night, and he added to his ever-growing highlight reel with an incredible assist to Pascal Siakam.
Midway through the third quarter, Haliburton was forced to pick up his dribble just inside the three-point line, before he fired a pass off of the backboard to himself. Rather than immediately go up with the shot, Haliburton quickly turned and fired to the corner while still in the air, hitting a wide open Siakam. The new Pacers star quickly realized the stakes of his shot, and hilariously revealed the three-word message he told himself prior to shooting the ball.
“As Pascal Siakam watched Tyrese Haliburton make his latest game-breaking pass — this time by throwing the ball off the backboard to himself and then firing it out to his new All-Star teammate in the corner — there was only one thought crossing Siakam's mind. ‘Just make it.'” – Tim Bontemps, ESPN
Pascal Siakam ensured Tyrese Haliburton's pass would receive it's due praise
There have been quite a few great passes throughout the history of the NBA that get lost in the archives because the guy who ends up with the ball in his hands misses the shot. Siakam didn't want this pass from Haliburton to fall victim to that fate, so he locked in and made sure that he drained the corner three to ensure that the pass will go down as arguably the best assist of the year so far.
The duo of Haliburton and Siakam hasn't really found their footing, which has largely been due to Haliburton's minutes restriction as of late, but this play alone shows what the duo can be capable of. The Pacers have high hopes for their up-and-coming squad, and if Haliburton and Siakam can keep on making plays like this, they may be able to help Indiana lock up a playoff spot and avoid the Play-In Tournament entirely.