Ranking each Eastern Conference playoff team based on their best player

Boston Celtics v Milwaukee Bucks
Boston Celtics v Milwaukee Bucks / Stacy Revere/GettyImages
2 of 8

7. Indiana Pacers

Best player: Tyrese Haliburton

In the early portion of the season, Tyrese Haliburton looked like a world beater. He looked like a top three point guard in the NBA. Prior to the In-Season Tournament finals, Haliburton was averaging 27 points per game, 12 assists, and shooting 52 percent from the field and 44 percent from three-point range. 

Since then, though, Haliburton’s averages have dipped to 18 PPG, 11 assists, and 46 percent from the field and 33 percent from three-point range. To be fair to him, though, he suffered a hamstring injury in January that he rushed back from in order to meet the 65-game requirement for awards and he has not looked the same since returning from that injury.

In addition to that, this is Haliburton’s first time in the playoffs as a number one option, leading the Pacers to the sixth seed and a matchup with the Bucks. However, he was a complete no-show in game one, only scoring nine points and taking eight shots. In order for the Pacers to have a chance, Haliburton needs to show some signs of his pre-injury form. Otherwise, it’ll be a quick postseason debut for the star point guard.

Haliburton could have been higher on this list if he hadn’t come limping into the playoffs and had had no struggles for the last three months of the season. Nonetheless, this is the right spot for him given the amount of talent in the East.