The Indiana Pacers could be without their franchise player for an upcoming battle with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Tyrese Haliburton is dealing with a non-COVID illness and is officially listed as questionable to play on Saturday at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse.

Haliburton picked up right where he left off from a breakout 2022-23 campaign in Indiana's season-opening blowout of the Washington Wizards on Wednesday. He scored 20 points and doled out 11 assists on 9-of-16 shooting in just 26 minutes of play, sitting out almost the entire fourth quarter of the Pacers' rollicking 143-120 victory.

The No. 12 overall pick of the 2020 draft by the Sacramento Kings, Haliburton arrived in Indianapolis at the 20222 trade deadline as the centerpiece of the deal that sent Domantas Sabonis to Sacramento. While many analysts and die-hard league followers held him in extremely high esteem after an eye-opening rookie season, Haliburton has already exceeded all but the wildest expectations of his ceiling with the Pacers. He averaged 20.7 points and 10.4 assists per game last season en route to first-time All-Star honors, only missing on serious All-NBA consideration because injuries limited him to 56 games.

Just as important as his individual success, Haliburton guided the Pacers to a surprising, relatively strong 35-win season in 2022-23, a number deflated by his extended injury absence as well as the team's stealth tanking over the last few weeks of the 82-game grind. Indiana entered 2023-24 as one of basketball's most exciting young teams as a result, always pushing the pace and playing with flair, an identity central to Haliburton's game.

If he can't go against Cleveland, expect rock-solid sophomore Andrew Nembhard to take over starting point guard duties, with veteran TJ McConnell also seeing additional playing time. The Pacers and Cavs tipoff at 4:30 p.m. (PT) on Saturday.