Despite Wally Szczerbiak’s “wannabe All-Star” comments about Tyrese Haliburton, the Indiana Pacers guard is in a great position to make the team. But should he start?
Through 40 games, Haliburton has put up 20.2 points and 10.2 assists on 48% shooting from the floor and 88% from the free-throw line. While he’s been outstanding for the 23-19 Pacers this season, Haliburton left the game with a knee injury in Wednesday’s 119-113 loss to the New York Knicks.
As of today, Haliburton is eighth among Eastern Conference guards in the fan voting portion. Those votes account for 50% of the total votes, with current players and media accounting for 25% each.
If he would be selected as a starter, Haliburton would be the first player from the Pacers to do so since Paul George was a starter in the 2016 All-Star game.
While Haliburton will need more of the fan vote, what do some members of the national media have to say about it?
The Ringer’s Bill Simmons likes Tyrese Haliburton as a starter in the East
On Tuesday’s edition of The Bill Simmons Podcast, Simmons and ESPN’s Zach Lowe picked their Eastern Conference All-Stars. Simmons selected Haliburton and Donovan Mitchell of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“You know why? Because I want to see him in the All-Star game,” Simmons said of Haliburton. “He’s fun to play with.”
Simmons said Haliburton being in the All-Star game would be “awesome.” Simmons also called Haliburton a “franchise player.”
“He probably won’t shoot,” Simmons said. “He’ll have like 2 points and 12 assists.”
Lowe didn’t have Haliburton as one of his five starters but said Haliburton is one of the next five guys who deserve an All-Star spot.
“The Pacers are good and they’re not going anywhere,” Lowe said. “He absolutely deserves it. The shooting numbers and the passing numbers are outrageous.”
The Athletic picks Tyrese Haliburton as an East All-Star backcourt starter
Haliburton? Yes, Tyrese Haliburton. With Jayson Tatum on the ballot as a frontcourt player, Haliburton is a clear pick as a starter in the East backcourt. He’s led an allegedly tanking Pacers team to the sixth seed in the East while leading the NBA in assists and becoming a far more competent one-on-one player than anyone imagined, averaging 20.3 points per game. In terms of efficiency, Haliburton isn’t quite in the hallowed 50-40-90 territory but he’s not too far away: 48.0 percent from the field, 40.2 percent from 3 and 88.5 percent from the line.
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