Almost instantaneously, we have seen glimpses of Tyrese Haliburton’s incredible value. Other than the dazzling play so far, however, it was with the youngster sitting out yesterday’s game with a bone bruise on his left wrist that we saw what significance he has on this team’s success.
While most teams wouldn’t be affected with their rookie sitting out the sixth game of the season, this is no average rookie and yesterday’s poor performance shows how vital Halliburton’s role is.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Kings were hard to watch. The offense looked stagnant with little movement, poor passing, and way too much dribbling.
With Fox being the primary playmaker for the team, Haliburton has already asserted himself as the team’s secondary playmaker, and without him available, the offense struggled.
With Fox only being able to do so much himself, the team showed an inability to succeed under the next-man-up circumstances. It’s a problem to marvel at, though, because it is already hard to replace Haliburton as the young guard has proven to be an excellent floor general, passer, and can score in key situations.
Double ballscreen for Cameron Payne. Big rolls and gets the switch on a smaller defender. Tyrese Haliburton gets caught ball watching, Booker cuts. Nice pass from Payne. pic.twitter.com/ou93ZdV4li
— Joe Viray (@JoeViray90) December 27, 2020
A rookie confidently driving into what is essentially a triple team because he recognizes the open man and drops the easy pass for the 3.
Jesus, man. Haliburton is composed. pic.twitter.com/MKbJJtwVYc
— Al (@balleracha) December 30, 2020
HALIBURTON HITS THE CLUTCH THREE pic.twitter.com/Zxqm3sdroR
— Kings on NBCS (@NBCSKings) January 1, 2021
Tyrese Haliburton drilled B2B big time threes 👀 pic.twitter.com/UqWpsaWuC7
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 24, 2020
With him out due to injury, the Kings offense couldn’t seem to get it going and finished the game with a mere 11 assists while failing to score in triple digits for the first time this season.
On the defensive end, Haliburton’s absence may have been felt even more. Even with the absence of James Harden, the Rockets walked all over the Kings with John Wall leading the way.
Haliburton has proven to be an excellent defender both on and off the ball. When John Wall proved to be more than a handful, no one could stop the man. With Haliburton already being the best backcourt defender for Sacramento and out for yesterday’s contest, Houston’s point guard finished with 28 points on 52% shooting.
The Kings tried hanging in with the Rockets for most of the contest, but late in a close game, when Haliburton would usually be in, the Kings looked lost.
Although Haliburton is only slated to miss one more game, going forward, the Kings can’t afford for him to miss much more time this season.
It’s truly amazing how integral he is for this team and yesterday’s abomination just shows how truly valuable he is for Walton’s lineup. Hopefully the Kings will be able to take down a struggling Warriors squad tomorrow, but with how the Kings looked without Haliburton yesterday, nothing’s for certain.