After watching the Kings lose back to back games from the sideline, Tyrese Haliburton returned to the floor last night, giving his team a much added boost they definitely needed.
In the two games during Tyrese’s absence, Sacramento looked out of sync and amounted 28 turnovers on a mere 31 assists, and lost one of their games by more than a 30 point margin.
It was as if a staple holding a packet together was ripped out, and the papers had no choice but to scatter away from the pack.
When Tyrese returned last night, he stapled everything back together and made this group of men play like a cohesive unit.
Even when Fox went down in the first quarter due to hamstring tightness and was reported to not return, Haliburton grabbed this team by the reins and guided them on the path to victory.
His presence got the ball moving once again and turned what had been a lethargic Kings offense into a well oiled machine. His aid on defense helped further limit the damage of the Bulls top scorers while contagiously leading by example with his effort on the defensive end.
When push came to shove in a tight game, Haliburton stepped up, scoring 15 of his 17 points in the fourth while knocking down a couple of clutch threes to snap Sacramento’s three game skid.
TYRESE HALIBURTON IS CLUTCH
The Kings rookie scored 15 of his season-high 17 in the 4th quarter!
17 PTS, 7 REB, 6 AST, 3 STL, 1 BLK, 0 TO pic.twitter.com/fbc6Kck4QN
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) January 7, 2021
Tyrese Haliburton with the big 3 late as the Kings win. pic.twitter.com/IZtwjZBNVg
— NBA (@NBA) January 7, 2021
When it was all said and done, the team finished with 30 assists to just 7 turnovers and appeared to have reclaimed the piece they were so desperately missing.
With Haliburton’s outstanding play so far and leadership from last night, can the case be made that Tyrese is already the Kings’ best player? I think so.
He is easily the team’s best two way player while also possessing the highest basketball IQ. It’s rare to see this kid make a mistake and on top of all things, he elevates the play of those around him.
Looking at players in the regular rotation, Haliburton is:
◦ 1 of 2 Kings with a positive +/-
◦ 2nd in OFFRTG
◦ 1st in DEFRTG
◦ 2nd in NETRTG
◦ 1st in AST/TO
◦ 1st in AST RATIO
◦ 1st in TOV%
◦ 2nd in TS%
◦ 1st in 3PT%
All while having the lowest usage. If that isn’t efficiency, then I don’t know what is.
Tyrese’s outstanding production might come from a small sample size of six games, but it’s impossible to downplay what he is capable of from what he has already proven thus far.
It’s apparent that his strong start to the season is no fluke, and his game will only get better as the season progresses.
How in the world did McNair convince a player of Haliburton’s talent to purposely fall in the draft to come play for what some call a dumpster fire of an organization? I’m not sure, but I am sure that this young man is for real and that the Kings truly have a very special player in their hands.