Tyrese Haliburton ended 2023 on a high note, leading the Pacers to three consecutive wins and becoming just the third player in NBA history to record back-to-back 20-point and 20-assist games.
As a result, he was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played from Dec. 25-31 — wins over Chicago, Houston and New York. He averaged 25.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and a remarkable 17.7 assists per game during that week of games.
Pacers center Myles Turner was a finalist for the award, along with Boston’s Jayson Tatum, Chicago’s Andre Drummond, Cleveland’s Jarrett Allen, Detroit’s Cade Cunningham, New York’s Julius Randle.
Haliburton, who is averaging career-highs 24.7 points and a league-best 12.7 assists per game, was a finalist for the award in each of the first five weeks of the season.
The Pacers did not practice on Tuesday, but what he said Saturday after their win over the Knicks still applies here. “Assists don’t happen without guys making shots.”
And without team success, a player isn’t unlikely to win an award like this one.
“Tyrese is the ultimate leader that makes things work,” said head coach Rick Carlisle.
Haliburton has posted a career-best nine consecutive double-doubles. He has one in 24 of 29 games this season.
It’s his second time being named player of the week. He last won it on Nov. 21, 2022.
The Pacers (18-14) have won four in a row and begin a five-game homestand on Wednesday against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Scott Agness is in his 12th season as a beat writer covering the Indiana Pacers. Click here to read more of his work at FieldhouseFiles.com.
Haliburton, who is just 23 years old, is the 16th Pacer to win the player of the week award, joining the following list of players:
- Billy Knight
- Herb Williams
- Chuck Person
- Vern Fleming
- Reggie Miller
- Rik Smits
- Jalen Rose
- Jermaine O’Neal
- Ron Artest
- Danny Granger
- Paul George (5x, most of any Pacer)
- Victor Oladipo
- Thaddeus Young
- Bojan Bogdanovic
- Domantas Sabonis
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