Even without Haliburton, Siakam gives the Pacers a glimpse of the possible
It's going to take time -- time to get Haliburton back in the lineup, time for the newly minted Pacer to adjust to his new team. But it's going to happen. Fourth in the East is very possible.
When it all comes together, when Tyrese Haliburton gets healthy and Pascal Siakam figures out where he fits on his new team, the Pacers are going to be a sight to behold. There aren’t a lot of franchises that can boast two top-15 players like that pair, and in time – sooner rather than later would be preferred – the Pacers are going to compete with Cleveland and a cast of thousands for the fourth seed in the tightly contested Eastern Conference.
On the night of Siakam’s home Pacers’ debut, the near-sellout crowd was jacked to see their newest addition, giving him a warm welcome when he was introduced first in the starting lineup. Earlier in the day, he had walked around the court, taking it all in, the trade, his new (and hopefully not temporary) home, the moment when his basketball life changed when he was dealt from Toronto.
And when it was over, and the nonpareil Nikola Jokic put a three-point finishing touch on the most casual and understated triple-double you’ve ever seen, the Pacers were victim to their third straight loss – but that’s not the story. The story is about hope, about what will be when Haliburton, who will sit out the next two games with his balky hamstring, pairs up with Siakam.
The 6-8 power forward finished with an ordinary stat line – 16 points, 10 rebounds, four assists – but you could see glimpses of the possible.