One of many highlights of the Sacramento Kings’ 2020-21 season was the play of Tyrese Haliburton. The rookie seems to be the steal of the 2020 NBA Draft. Common supervisor Monte McNair and the group have been fortunate that 11 different groups handed on the Iowa State, and he fell of their laps at No. 12.
Haliburton completed fourth amongst all rookies in scoring (13.0), second in assists (5.3), and third amongst in 3-point share out of any rookie who had greater than 100 makes an attempt from past the arc.
The 21-year-old is among the many three finalists for the NBA Rookie of the Yr Award. Though LaMelo Ball or Anthony Edwards will seemingly win the award, it’s good to see Haliburton get some nationwide recognition.
Haliburton’s arrival gave head coach Luke Walton a much-needed playmaking possibility behind star level guard De’Aaron Fox. Haliburton gave the second unit a gentle offensive possibility when Fox was getting some relaxation.
The rookie’s NBA profession bought off to a very good begin. Haliburton averaged 11.2 factors and 5.8 assists in January and went on to win the Western Convention’s Rookie of the Month honors.
As spectacular as he was in January, Haliburton’s recreation went to a different stage the next month. He averaged 16.2 factors and 5.3 assists whereas capturing 45 p.c from deep in February and as soon as once more was named the convention’s Rookie of the Month.
An injured calf stored Haliburton out of the lineup for 4 video games earlier than the All-Star Break, and he was gradual to get better. He struggled along with his capturing as soon as he returned, going simply 18-of-53 from the sector over six video games earlier than Haliburton exploded for 28 factors in a win over Cleveland on March 22.
Nevertheless, the Kings started to battle as a crew, and Haliburton was a part of the explanation why the crew misplaced 9 video games in a row in March. He averaged 11.4 factors through the skid, and his 3-point share started to slip.
Haliburton was in a position to flip issues round following the dropping streak, however his season solely lasted one other eight video games. He injured his knee in a 111-99 win over the Dallas Mavericks, which initially gave the impression to be extra critical than it was. Haliburton will be capable to resume on-court exercises shortly.
All in all, it was a profitable rookie 12 months for Haliburton. He flashed his potential, and his recreation has a sure stage of maturity to it not usually seen in 21-year-olds.
One space Haliburton might want to enhance on is his conditioning. He appeared drained on sure nights, which isn’t stunning on condition that the final offseason was extraordinarily restricted because of the pandemic.
Haliburton mentioned he plans on including power throughout his offseason coaching program throughout his season-ending media availability.
“Getting stronger is an enormous half — simply kinda coming into my ‘man physique’ or no matter, simply dwelling within the weight room,” Haliburton mentioned. “On the similar time, one other vital factor is simply persevering with to develop my relationships with my teammates.”
As soon as Haliburton improves on his conditioning, it’ll assist with a number of the consistency points he had throughout his rookie marketing campaign. One of the vital tough changes first-year gamers needed to make this season was coping with a condensed schedule and a scarcity of observe time, so it wasn’t stunning to see Haliburton fade throughout sure stretches.
The conditioning and consistency will definitely enhance in Yr 2. The excellent news for Sacramento is that Haliburton has confirmed that he has the potential to be a cornerstone piece for the franchise. With Haliburton and Fox because the constructing blocks, the Kings look like heading in the right direction.
He additionally has the correct outlook and targets in relation to what he desires to perform.
“We wish to get the Sacramento Kings again to the playoffs,” Haliburton mentioned. “That’s what I’m centered on for subsequent 12 months.”
What do you consider Haliburton’s long-term potential? Do you suppose he confirmed sufficient to show that McNair ought to view him as a cornerstone piece?