Tuesday, March 28, 2023
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NBA Preview: Houston Rockets (15-50) at Indiana Pacers (29-37)

The Indiana Pacers’ recent offensive prowess is not reflected in the season-long statistics, especially since the season resumed last month following the All-Star break.

Indiana’s overall offense is average, as evidenced by its 18th-place offensive rating prior to Tuesday’s NBA schedule. However, the Pacers have scored an average of 125 points per game in their six games since the All-Star break, ranking fourth in the NBA behind only the Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Clippers, and Dallas Mavericks.

Over the past two weeks, the Indiana Pacers, who play Houston Rockets on Thursday in Indianapolis, have excelled offensively for a myriad of reasons. However, the most obvious is Tyrese Haliburton’s play, who is making his first All-Star team and has somehow increased his stardom since the break.

Since the All-Star Game, Haliburton has been averaging 27.6 points and 12.2 assists on 57.1 percent shooting. He matched a season-high 16 helps with 40 places in a wild 147-143 misfortune to the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday in what was one of the most mind-blowing rounds of his profession.

Pacers mentor Rick Carlisle praised the presentation of his group against the 76ers, yet any affirmation of how well Indiana is playing on offense begins with Haliburton.

The Rockets can only hope that Jalen Green, a guard in his second season, makes progress similar to Haliburton’s in his third NBA season. Green’s inconsistencies are understandable since he turned 21 last month.

In a 25-point performance against the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday, Green missed 6 of 7 3-point attempts and shot 42.9 percent overall after scoring 31 points on 11 of 19 attempts in a 142-110 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday. He hasn’t shot something like 50% in that frame of mind back games since late December when he arrived at the midpoint of 26 focuses on 54.1 percent shooting against the Bulls and Celtics.

Green is not solely responsible for the inconsistencies that exist. As of Tuesday, the Rockets had the lowest 3-point percentage in the NBA, at 32.7 percent. Their inability to even pose a threat to their opponents from beyond the arc frequently clogs the paint for Green, whose prolific ability to penetrate is hampered by opposing traffic.

Green would be able to do what he does best at this early stage of his career if he could shoot from the perimeter better. Green will continue to have nights when it is difficult to convert shots against defenses designed to obscure his view of the rim until the Rockets discover it.

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