Tyrese Haliburton is putting up numbers comparable to some of the NBA’s greatest players

Tyrese Haliburton, the Indiana Pacers guard who was already having a career start, finished off the month of November putting up numbers that have been matched only by two of the NBA’s greatest players.

Haliburton averaged 28.6 points and 11.7 assists while shooting 53% from the field and 47% from three-point range. Only Michael Jordan and LeBron James have averaged that many points and assists while shooting that well in a month.

And like all great showmen, Haliburton saved his best for last. On the final day of November, he scored 44 points, dished out 10 assists, shot 8-of-10 from the floor and 6-of-16 from 3-point range in the Pacers’ 142-132 loss to the Miami Heat.

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Tyrese Haliburton is on pace for more historic numbers

Despite Haliburton’s performance, the Pacers go into today’s game at Miami with a 9-8 record. But he’s having the best season of his career, and by averaging 20 points and 10 assists a game, he’s on pace to do things that put him in more elite company.

This season, at age 23, Haliburton is putting up better assist numbers than Oscar Robertson, averaging more points than Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas, and shooting better than John Stockton.

NBA stats at age 23 FG% 3P% FT% PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV
Tyrese Haliburton 51.8 45.6 91.5 25.9 3.7 11.9 0.9 0.7 2.5
Oscar Robertson 47.8 N/A 80.3 30.8 12.5 11.4 N/A N/A N/A
Magic Johnson 54.8 0 80 16.8 8.6 10.5 2.2 0.6 3.8
Isiah Thomas 45.8 25.7 80.9 21.2 4.5 13.9 2.3 0.3 3.7
John Stockton 48.9 13.3 83.9 7.7 2.2 7.4 1.9 0.1 2

If Haliburton’s season and subsequent Pacers career wasn’t impressive enough. He is just the fourth player in NBA history to log 375+ points and 175+ assists in the first 15 games of a season.

The other players who have done that:

  • Tiny Archibald (1972-73)
  • Oscar Robertson (1961-62)
  • James Harden (2016-17)

And only Golden State’s Steph Curry has hit more three-pointers in clutch moments. 

Related: See where the Pacers land in Sportsnaut’s NBA Power Rankings

Putting Tyrese Haliburton’s numbers into perspective

If the season ended today, Haliburton’s current assist average would rank 14th in NBA history.

Only four other players averaged more assists in a season: Stockton (eight times), Johnson (six times), Thomas, and Kevin Porter (once).

If Haliburton can keep up the 20 points, 10 assists average for the season, he would join six other players who have done that three times or more. Robertson and Russell Westbrook have done it five times, Harden and Thomas have done it four times and Magic Johnson and Kevin Johnson had done it three times.

Tyrese Haliburton on pace to represent the home team at All-Star weekend

During Haliburton’s first season with the Pacers, he was named to his first All-Star team. And with this year’s All-Star festivities in Indianapolis, he’s on pace to represent the home team.

At Indianapolis, the game will return to the way it has been played since 1951 when the Eastern Conference played the Western Conference.

The NBA suggested this was to “celebrate basketball’s deep roots in the state of Indiana.” 

The game, which will be televised on TNT, will go back to a regular game with four 12-minute quarters with a lot of the recent changes eliminated. The team that wins each quarter will donate to charity.

In 2018, the NBA changed the way the All-Star Game worked. Instead of the traditional East vs. West, team captains — the two players who got the most votes from fans, media and former players — selected the teams from the other 24 players who were voted in. LeBron James and Stephen Curry were the first two captains.

This format ran until last season. 

Related: NBA MVP race 2023-24: Is Haliburton a legit MVP candidate?

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Author: Chris Phillips

NBA News Sportsnaut