Austin Reaves saw big season for Tyrese Haliburton coming after playing with him on Team USA

If you haven’t seen Tyrese Haliburton play much this season, I don’t blame you.

The Pacers played just one nationally televised game before their appearance in the semifinals of the NBA In-Season Tournament, but after dropping 27 times on the Bucks to punch its ticket to the finals against the Lakers on Saturday, people are starting to pay attention donate to the young Pacers star.

However, Austin Reaves saw it coming.

Haliburton and Reaves shined as part of the gang for Team USA and their offensive chemistry was strong when they were on the floor together. Now they share a big stage again, but this time they compete against each other for the first NBA Cup.

Before Saturday’s In-Season Tournament championship game, Reaves spoke about Haliburton and the high expectations he had for him this season.

“I told D’Lo before the season started that if they compete in the East, I think he has a chance to win an MVP at some point just because of the way he plays, the unselfishness with which he plays. the way he makes his teammates better says a lot,” Reaves revealed after the game after the Lakers won in the semifinals. “Just the way we played together, it was simple. You knew he would play the game the right way and make the right pass. With him you never had to worry about that. You tip your hat to a guy like that because he’s so unselfish while you’re so talented.”

If the Lakers want to beat the Pacers, stopping Haliburton will be a key factor. He may not quite be at the MVP level Reaves envisions for his colleague, but he is clearly the best player on the Pacers and is leading that high-powered offense to this championship game and a 12-8 record.

Slowing down the Pacers and Haliburton won’t be easy, but if anyone can do it, it’s Anthony Davis and the Lakers.

As the team’s defensive leader, Davis will have to make sure everyone is aware that defending Haliburton is priority number one. Fans will be hoping that Davis can replicate last season’s success against the Pacers, when he made a late comeback to block Haliburton in the closing minutes of the regular season showdown.

As a team, with the return of Rui Hachimura and Jarred Vanderbilt, the Lakers are starting to look like an elite defense again. Currently they are in seventh place defensive rating at 110.3.

High stakes games are a rarity in December, but this is one of them. We’ll know a lot more about each team after this game, but fans should already know that Haliburton is legit and the Lakers better give himthe attention he needs if they want to win it all on Saturday.