Pacers

Haliburton’s Tape Transforming Modern-Day NBA

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Indiana Pacers lead guard Tyrese Haliburton has ascended into a superstar this season.

The 23-year-old is averaging 21.4 points, 3.7 rebounds and leading the league in assists per game (11.6).

With his unorthodox release, he is shooting 37.5 percent on pull-up threes while hoisting up six attempts per game. 

Haliburton has recorded seven games in which he finished with at least ten assists and no turnovers. The Pacers are 5-2 when Haliburton achieves this feat.

Let’s watch his film from this year.

Rejecting the screen

A massive part of Haliburton’s game is rejecting the screen in pick-and-roll actions.

As Haliburton receives the basketball, he rejects Myles Turner’s pick. Haliburton lowers his dribble to protect the basketball as the help defender, Brandon Miller, sinks in.

Miller reaches in as Haliburton hangs in the air on the drive and finishes the layup plus the foul.

Haliburton initially rejects Obi Toppin’s empty-corner-ball screen and then accepts it.

Brook Lopez is in drop coverage, which is the Bucks’ primary pick-and-roll coverage. Pull-up midrange is a drop-coverage killer and Haliburton does exactly that; pull-up midrange jumper.

Jump passes

Haliburton has a knack for executing jump passes.

Again, Haliburton rejects the empty-side screen. He uses the punch dribble before picking up the basketball.

He touches the paint and sees Joel Embiid coming over to help. Haliburton leaves his feet and knows exactly where the open man is.

Haliburton locates Jalen Smith, a 45 percent shooter from downtown, wide open on the strong side of the floor. Smith sets his feet, takes a rhythm dribble and rewards Haliburton with an assist.

Haliburton uses the punch dribble to protect the basketball as three Grizzlies defenders key in on him.

As Haliburton steps foot in the paint, spins and leaves his feet, he has a split second to make the correct read.

Turner fills the lane and Jaren Jackson Jr. sinks in to discourage the pass to Turner. Haliburton processes the information quickly and hits Obi Toppin for a wide open 3-pointer before his feet touch the floor.

Jump passes are a high-risk, high-reward play that Haliburton is elite at executing on a nightly basis.

Scoring

Haliburton is a pass-first player, but his scoring is just as dangerous.

The shot making in today’s NBA is ridiculous. Haliburton’s confidence is on display here.

Against a set defense, Haliburton moves into the front court and receives a high ball screen from Andrew Nembhard

He punishes the Cavaliers’ late switch, pulls up a few feet behind the 3-point line and connects on a shot that went up just five seconds into the shot clock.

Take a look at Haliburton’s unorthodox release.

His shooting hand does not go under the basketball until the moment he releases it. Meanwhile, his guide hand is across his face throughout the shooting motion. 

On first sight, Haliburton’s release appears that most of his shots would be a set shot. His mechanics to get his shot off the dribble is just something one cannot teach.

It’s incredible how easy Haliburton makes it look when he can get his unorthodox shot off the dribble.

Haliburton starts off this possession playing off the ball. As he catches the ball, Haliburton attacks the closeout and utilizes a couple of hang dribbles.

The primary defender, Franz Wagner, is out of position and Haliburton takes the open angle by driving baseline. 

Haliburton gets shoved in the back by Wagner, takes a reverse layup from a difficult angle and finishes with some English off the glass.

The two-time All-Star has all the tools to lead the Pacers into title contention. In a new era of the NBA, Haliburton has redefined what a true point guard is.

About Mac Pham

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