Draymond Green Challenged Tyrese Haliburton To ‘Give An Honest Effort And Compete’ SuperNayr

The Indiana Pacers will return home needing a win in Game 6 to stay alive, otherwise their offseason will begin and the New York Knicks will be headed to the Eastern Conference Finals.

They’re in that position because they laid an egg in Game 5 in the Garden, as Jalen Brunson and the Knicks dominated in every facet of the game. For the second time in three games in New York, Tyrese Haliburton was extremely passive, scoring just 13 points on nine shots. It was a stark contrast to the energy and aggression he showed at home in Indiana, and if the Pacers are going to have a chance at winning this series, he will have to figure out how to get his game to travel

Haliburton is dealing with a handful of ailments, but the same can be said about most players in the playoffs (including Brunson) and we saw him find that extra gear in Games 3 and 4. On Inside the NBA, Draymond Green and Vince Carter, who were filling in for Shaq and Charles, discussed what their messages would be to Haliburton. Carter’s was simple, asking him “are you ready to go home?” and telling him to be more aggressive. Green, meanwhile, had a more pointed critique of Haliburton’s effort, particularly on the defensive end.

“I’m going to take this another step forward with Tyrese Haliburton,” Green said. “You have to come out and compete at a level that says I want to move on. And that’s not just on the offensive end, that’s on the defensive end. When you come out and you hedge on a screen and you just slap behind a guy and the guy turns the corner, that is setting the tone for the team, because you’re the guy. We’re not asking you to come out and be Patrick Beverley. We’re not asking you to be Andrew Nembhard. We’re asking you to come out and give an honest effort and compete. When you slap and you stop on the defensive end and give up, you’re letting the other guys down. Those are the same guys that you need as a star to run through a brick wall for you. And if you take the easy way out on the defensive end every chance you get, those guys that you need to run through a brick wall ain’t runnin’ through that brick wall and you’re gonna be on your way home. So he has to come out and compete on both ends of the floor like his life depended on it. Not be lockdown, just show some effort so then the help can get there and help you.”

It’s a really terrific segment from Draymond and provides some insight into why he’s been effective as the Warriors vocal leader. This is thoughtful criticism, not just bashing a guy for the sake of it, and it points out how Haliburton has to improve if he’s going to be the guy on an elite level team. When your star isn’t giving total effort, the entire team feels like they can also let off the gas. As he notes, he’s not asking Haliburton to become a lockdown defender, but the lapses in effort simply can’t happen, because then you can’t demand it of your teammates on either end with credibility.

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