A Jan. 30, 2024 matchup with the Celtics is Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton‘s most anticipated game of next season because it marks the first time he’ll be playing a nationally televised game on TNT. In an interview with ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, Haliburton talks about how he’s been overlooked in both NBA markets he’s played in so far (Sacramento and Indiana) and how he’s planning on becoming must-see TV next season even if his exposure is limited.
“You have to win to get on TV and that’s what we need to do,” Haliburton said. “It won’t change either. When we win in Indiana, we’ll get three national games.”
Haliburton is in the midst of an eventful summer. Soon after inking a max contract extension that can be worth up to a projected $260MM, the Pacers guard was named to Team USA’s 2023 FIBA World Cup roster.
During his time with Team USA, Haliburton is shooting well and distributing the ball at a high level. He’s also flashing his ability on the defensive end, putting up five steals in three games.
“He’s like a quarterback who’s finding five different receivers and then if there’s no pass rush, he’ll just line up his set shot and knock it down,” Team USA head coach Steve Kerr said. “He’s really a unique player and a beautiful player to watch and obviously very effective.”
Team USA and Haliburton are advancing to the second round of the group stage in the World Cup and will next play Montenegro on Friday.
We have more from the Central Division:
- Former Pistons No. 1 overall pick Cade Cunningham missed most of last season due to a stress fracture in his left shin. Cunningham has just one full season under his belt, but he’s showed flashes of superstardom, including during his stint with Team USA’s Select Team in Las Vegas prior to the World Cup. In a conversation with The Athletic’s James L. Edwards III, Sam Vecenie discusses how Cunningham’s play is crucial to the Pistons improving on their 17-win season from last year. Jalen Duren‘s growth was also on display during the Select Team scrimmages and Vecenie notes that he’s another key for the Pistons to earn a play-in spot.
- Pacers No. 8 overall pick Jarace Walker sat down with The Fieldhouse Files’ Scott Agness (YouTube link) to talk about his thoughts on the upcoming season. Walker said that he’s excited to join forces with Obi Toppin at the power forward position. “I feel like we’re going to complement each other a ton,” Walker said. “I love to pass, play-make, get my teammates the ball, and he’s such a versatile player offensively and defensively. I feel like what we can bring to the team and what they need, I feel like we’re two key pieces for the [organization].“
- The Bucks exited from last season’s playoffs in disappointing fashion, falling to the No. 8-seeded Heat in the first round of the playoffs. This offseason, Milwaukee opted to bring back most of its core while fleshing out its depth. Eric Nehm of The Athletic explored answers to a fan survey he released last week. In general, fans feel confident in the team but have lower expectations relative to last season. One interesting tidbit is that 86.9% of fans thought the decision to move on from former coach Mike Budenholzer was the right move.