Whether it's in the NBA Draft or by the Sacramento Kings and Wally Szczerbiak, Tyrese Haliburton has been underestimated quite a lot during his three-year career. Well, he should not be underrated again after a stellar first season with the Indiana Pacers that saw him make monumental history.
“Tyrese Haliburton became the first player in NBA history to average 20 points and 10 assists, while shooting 40% from three this season,” The Pacers official Twitter said. “He also set a new franchise record for assists per game (10.4).”
The 23-year-old just continues to surprise and quickly establish himself as one of the best point guards in the league. And technically, he hasn't even entered his prime yet. While Haliburton could be overlooked due to his current residence in Indiana, he has forced the entire basketball world to acknowledge his versatile skill set.
The Iowa State alum slashed an exceptional 49/40/87 shooting line that helped earn him his first career All-Star selection. An All-NBA nod could soon follow. His rise to stardom allowed the Pacers to get off to a surprise 23-18 start. Elbow and knee injuries sidelined him for a couple weeks, and in turn caused the team to tumble down the Eastern Conference standings.
Indiana finished in 11th pace at 37-45, but their continued futility should not cause fans to view Tyrese Haliburton any differently. If he can stay healthier next season- missed 26 games- then that recent trend of disappointment should end soon. For now, though, both Haliburton and Pacers fans should bask in this historical feat that so many other great point guards were unable to achieve.
As usual, there will still be skeptics who say he is the best player on a bad team or some other qualifying statement. That should be perfectly fine for the man who has thrived off being dismissed.