By Charles Collier
The Pacers beat the Bucks led by Oshkosh, WI native and NBA superstar in the making, Tyrese Haliburton. He scored 27 points, dished out 15 assists and grabbed 7 rebounds in the Pacers win. The Bucks had numerous opportunities to win but couldn’t score in clutch time. The Bucks learned a valuable lesson, Damian Lillard isn’t going to be able to win every game and be the only scorer in the last five minutes in the 4th quarter; basketball is a team sport and it will take a team effort to win games down the stretch. Giannis Anetokounmpo led a Bucks balanced scoring attack. He had 37 points and 10 rebounds, Damian Lillard had 24 points, Khris Middleton added 20 points and Brook Lopez scored 18 points. After the victory, Haliburton stated, “we’re playing the right way and we’re shocking the world right now, we’re going to continue to do that.”
It has been a great week for Tyrese Haliburton and the Pacers. On Tuesday December 5, 2023, against Boston Haliburton finished with his first triple-double. He scored 26 points snatched 10 rebounds had 13 assists; as the Pacers beat the Celtics 122-112. That’s right, he led the Pacers to back-to-back wins over the two teams that are favorited by odds-makers to win the NBA Championship. With the aging of NBA super-stars Stephen Curry and Lebron James, the NBA is desperately searching for a new young face of the league. I opine, Tyrese Haliburton is the new face of the NBA. In the other In-Season tournament semi-final King James and the Lakers easily defeated the Pelicans 133-89 with the win the Lakers advanced to The NBA In-Season Tournament championship game. The Kings and the Lakers will face Tyrese Haliburton and the Pacers in a game that might possibly crown a new NBA king.
Over the years, the NBA has been seeking a way to make basketball relevant in November and December. The NBA In-Season Tournament appears to be the solution to the problem. The money and excitement give players an extra incentive to play hard and win in early season games and fans feel the energy and cheer on their teams. It’s definitely a win-win for the NBA.