The NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Finals just took a big swing in terms of momentum. Not only did the Indiana Pacers fail to steal at least one game from the Boston Celtics at TD Garden, they also lost Tyrese Haliburton. The star guard was facilitating the squad's offense in this postseason run very well until he wasn't. There was not a lot of optimism entering Game 3 against the Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum-led squad. But, Rick Carlisle posits that their All-Star still had a lot of grit to give.

Tyrese Haliburton unable to control his fate

May 23, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton (0) dribbles the ball against Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) in the first half during game two of the eastern conference finals for the 2024 NBA playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports
© Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

It is not new for stars to play through injuries. Avid spectators of the league can note how much this has happened in this year's NBA Playoffs alone. But, some of their fates are just not the same as others. Rick Carlisle says that Tyrese Haliburton really wanted to play at home against the Celtics. However, the Pacers head coach slammed the doors on that possibility because his star's fate was out of his hands, per Tim Bontemps of ESPN.

Tyrese Haliburton was diagnosed with left hamstring soreness.  He will now be out when the Pacers face the Celtics in Game 3. But, the star still produced great numbers before going down and leaving it all on the floor.

In 28 minutes of action, this insanely talented facilitator popped off. He sank 50% of his shots from all three levels of scoring to record 10 points. His great acumen for making great passes and getting the Pacers offense riled up then led him to drop eight assists. The star guard then finished his night by grabbing four rebounds and even stealing the ball once against this loaded Celtics squad.

Unfortunately, it was when Haliburton got assigned to defend Jayson Tatum that he took an awkward step. The same hamstring that prevented him from playing more games with the Pacers this season started to ache. Coach Rick Carlisle immediately knew that his player was grimacing in pain and pulled him out of this NBA Playoffs clash. Clearly, the Pacers did not want to risk their future.

An All-NBA run with the Pacers

It is a great season for the Pacers so far. They made big moves at the trade deadline which got them a championship-caliber star in Pascal Siakam. This perfectly complemented the rise of Haliburton during the start of the season. It seemed like no one expected Rick Carlisle to lead his team here but their regular season and NBA Playoffs run can speak for themselves.

All of this would not be possible without Haliburton. He played 68 games with an average of 32 minutes for the Pacers. His shot from all three levels of scoring was pure as he sank 47.7% of them to record 20.1 points on a nightly basis. But, his main focus was to get his teammates involved and he did great at that. He led the league in assists by dropping 10.9 of them on average.

There is still a lot in store for him in his career. Hopefully, this setback in the NBA Playoffs against Jayson Tatum's Celtics won't be the last time he makes it this far.