Tyrese Haliburton had an All-Star season. He picked up where he left off last season, having played in all 26 games with the Pacers after being acquired midseason.
This season is different though. He’s settled in. He knows his place within the organization and the Pacers know exactly what he can do and how he can help.
He’s the heartbeat of the team; without him, they’re not close to the same team.
They are 5-14 this season without their All-Star point guard.
And there’s no need for him to play again over the final two weeks of the season. I’ve felt this way for over a week, and now I’m finally putting it in writing. These are the discussions the Pacers front office must be having, along with head coach Rick Carlisle.
The same should be said for veteran center Myles Turner as well. Especially when considering the logjam at center that already has veteran Daniel Theis being a healthy scratch for the last month.
I also say this understanding that culture, building habits and making every game matter to a young team is important. And noting how one of their focuses last offseason was to bring in players who hated to miss games, guys who could be counted on each night.
To be clear, this is not an easy conversation to have with Haliburton because he hates missing games. Despises it. He should absolutely be included in the conversation, but the franchise must have the big picture in mind.
There are seven games left, two on the road and five at home. And just one of their opponents is lottery bound: Detroit.
Below are five reasons Haliburton should not play another game this season.
1. He’s not 100% healthy.
Haliburton, who has played in 54 of 73 games this season, has been sidelined for the past six games. The first two with a left knee contusion and the past four games with a right ankle sprain suffered during practice on March 15.
He would be playing if this was the postseason or critical games for seeding purposes. Considering the Pacers’ current situation, it’s not worth having him play through an injury. Because often times, one minor injury leads to another.
2. You want for him to have a healthy offseason going into next year.
He’s young, just 23, and a few years away from the peak of his career.
Have you noticed the many ways he’s upped his game just in the last year? Like extending range, having a better sense of the moment of reading when to attack and when to make the pass, success and confidence in the clutch, and more.
And so you want for him to be able to maximize the upcoming offseason. To be able to come back next season, when they should rejoin the playoff conversation, and thrive.
To read reasons 3, 4, & 5 on why the Pacers should shut down Haliburton for the season — subscribe to Fieldhouse Files with Scott Agness.
Anthony Richardson Faces Major Questions In NFL Transition
Gardner Minshew Shares First Impressions Of Anthony Richardson
Colts OTA Notebook Week 1: Anthony Richardson Impresses Shane Steichen
Colts Looking A Lot Different At Cornerback With JuJu Brents
Does Michael Pittman Deserve Contract Extension This Offseason?
Colts Really Need Second-Year Jump From Bernhard Raimann
Female Drivers in the Indy 500
Is Josh Downs Ideal Complement To Colts Wide Receivers?