‘Haliburton time’ doesn’t quite have the same ring to it

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The Pacers advanced to the championship game of the NBA in-season tournament last night after Tyrese Haliburton knocked down a 3-pointer late in the game to beat the Bucks.

He then took the time to look at his wrist, as if he was checking his watch; a copycat of Damian Lillard’s infamous “Dame Time” celebration.

Lillard didn’t seem too phased by him taking the celebration and using it against him and his team, saying, “For as many times as I’ve done it to people, I can’t be upset when somebody else does it. I think that’s also a sign of respect and acknowledgment for knowing my history, knowing what I do. I didn’t mind it, it was what it was.”

The veteran did have a message for the Pacers point guard, reminding him that it is important to stay humble and be careful, since the game of basketball is unbelievably unpredictable.

“You just never know how the table turns and when it’s gonna turn,” Lillard said. “I respect it. We shook hands after the game. I wasn’t moved by it left or right.”

In 18 games played this season, Haliburton is averaging 26.9 points per game, many of which have come in those key moments, like last night’s 3 with less than a minute of play to go.

Haliburton’s star has risen during the IST, and ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski noted that the point guard hopes to make Indiana a popular free-agent destination.

…[T]hat is really Haliburton’s mission right now, to use this tournament, to use this season to start making the case to star players around the league, ‘Come play with me in Indiana,’” Woj said.

The Pacers will take on Lebron and the Lakers for the in-season tournament title on Dec. 9.

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