Indiana Pacers point guard Tyrese Haliburton will likely miss some time after being forced to exit Monday night’s 133-131 win over the Boston Celtics in the first half due to a left hamstring strain.
With 3:12 remaining in the second quarter, Haliburton beat Derrick White to the hole off the dribble. But as Haliburton made a sudden stop to make a “Rondo” move, his leg slipped out from underneath him, and he did a split on the court.
Tyrese Haliburton goes down and is carried back to the locker room pic.twitter.com/1upm4HlhFg
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) January 9, 2024
Haliburton then twisted around, holding the back of his leg while hollering and wincing in pain. He did get up on his own power but ultimately had to be carried off the court and to the locker room by Buddy Hield and James Johnson.
The severity of the injury is unknown. According to Ryan Young of Yahoo Sports. Haliburton has an MRI scheduled today with further information and a projected time frame for his return to action following the results.
However, following the game, Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said that Haliburton could be out anywhere between a week and several months.
Sports injury expert Jeff Stotts told The Athletic that a low-grade hamstring injuries typically mean around 13 days missed, while a grade 2 strain can result in approximately 30 days missed.
Whatever the prognosis for Haliburton, it is unfortunate. The 23-year-old is in the midst of a career campaign, averaging 23.6 points and a league-high 12.5 assists. He also produces 4.2 rebounds and 1.1 steals while compiling a shooting slash line of .497/.403/.868.
Haliburton was the leading vote-getter among Eastern Conference guards for the All-Star Game when the NBA released its first returns last week. The 2024 All-Star game will be held in Indianapolis.
— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) January 4, 2024
“It’s always sad to see one of your guys go down, no matter who it is,” Hield said. “Whether it’s the head of the snake or 1 through 17, but especially a guy like Ty. He brings so much to this team and is such an important piece to our team. Sad to see him go down. He’s my brother. We love him a lot.”
While the Pacers are obviously hoping to get their star back as soon as possible, they appear to be equipped to handle any time he will miss better than last season, as the team is much deeper. The Pacers went 7-19 in the 26 games he missed last season, while they were 28-28 this year.
Update: Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that Haliburton has been diagnosed with a Grade 1 left hamstring strain and is expected to be reevaluated in about two weeks,
Pacers star Tyrese Haliburton has a Grade 1 left hamstring strain, an MRI revealed on Tuesday, sources tell ESPN. He’s expected to be re-evaluated in approximately two weeks but there’s relief that he’s avoided serious injury. pic.twitter.com/AnYt2ov7pV
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 9, 2024
How Will The Pacers Replace Haliburton?
With last night’s victory, Indiana improved to 21-15. The Pacers sit in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, though there are four other teams with the same record. The Pacers have won seven of their last eight.
A big part of Indiana’s success this season has been their depth. Eleven players have appeared in at least 24 games, with all of them averaging over 13 minutes a contest.
So, how will the Pacers replace Haliburton, if need be?
Haliburton has missed three games this year, with Indiana going 1-2. All three of those contests were on the road against top teams. The Pacers beat Miami and lost to the Celtics and Minnesota.
While Carlisle has four options to put alongside Bruce Brown in the starting lineup, Andrew Nembhard will likely get the nod. Nemhard made 63 starts a year ago and has been on the floor at tipoff on seven occasions this season, including both times he was active when Haliburton was forced to sit out.
Nembhard is a good ball-handler and solid distributor, although he is not a huge threat offensively.
While Nembhard may start, TJ McConnell will also see plenty of time running the offense. McConnell is a super-efficient veteran who knows his strengths: ball-handling, creating offense for others, and being a pest on defense.
Now, if Carlisle wanted a more potent offensive first five he could insert Hield or Bennedict Mathurin alongside Brown. Brown is a solid ball-handler with playmaking ability . He also has some experience as the lead guard from his earlier days with Detroit.