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Pacers Links: Midway analysis offers appreciation for Haliburton, Pacers

The surprising success of the Pacers is making others around the league take notice.

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Indiana Pacers v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

The Pacers hit the midway point of their season in style, with a strong finish to beat the Charlotte Hornets, 116-111. After 41 games, the Pacers are 23-18 on pace to win 46 games.

More importantly, for some of us, the Pacers are one win away from surpassing their projected win total of 23.5 games for the season. AT THE MIDWAY POINT!

As league observers utilize the midway point to assess the NBA landscape, the surprising play of the Pacers is garnering plenty of attention. Much of that shine is going to Tyrese Haliburton who has taken the franchise by storm both with his play, leadership and constant positive presence. At 22, it is safe to say even the most bullish promoters of Haliburton in the Pacers front office would admit Hali’s play and impact is a good year or two ahead of schedule.

The Pacers play the Knicks in a legitimate playoff race battle and since the teams last played, a 109-106 Knicks win on Dec. 18, Haliburton has turned Wally Szczerbiak’s analysis into a joke. Wally can only hope people make a big deal of his comments during the Pacers visit to give him some relevance he desires.

The beauty of this Pacers team is that they don’t seem to care what others think (or don’t think) about them. Rick Carlisle sets that tone and the unflappable Haliburton just plays and competes and enjoys the process while his teammates follow. It simply seems too good to be true. But after half a season, these results aren’t lucky or a hot streak. It has been real and spectacular.

Among the links today, Haliburton gets plenty of love, starting with a No. 20 overall ranking of all NBA players by The Ringer NBA crew. “The new Point God” is how The Ringer referred to Haliburton while digging into what makes him special. Myles Turner (58) and rookie Benneditc Mathurin (93) also made the Top 100 list.

The NBA.com Midseason Media Survey also had a few splashes of Blue and Gold with the Pacers young backcourt players getting plenty of mentions. Andrew Nembhard was voted as the biggest steal of the NBA draft which is inarguable considering he was taken at No. 31 and quickly became a starter and two-way impact player for the Pacers. Bennedict Mathurin, as a lottery pick, was voted third on the list behind No. 22 overall, Walker Kessler.

Mathurin is also a distant second in the Rookie of the Year race and tied for third in the Sixth Man of the Year race. Nevermind that the Pacers’ rook leads the league in scoring off the bench.

Haliburton ranked fourth in the best point guard this season rankings behind Luka Doncic, Steph Curry and Ja Morant. Quality company, indeed. The Pacers point guard also tied for third in the best passer category which was topped by Nikola Jokic and LeBron James.

While Carlisle earned some love and a No. 2 ranking for his after timeout play calling, Haliburton was among the group expected to be a good future coach.

Considering the company Haliburton is keeping in all of these categories, it makes sense he was voted the most underrated player in the league. Shai Gildgeous-Alexander, Brook Lopez and Domas Sabonis were others among the underrated players.

Hopefully, the individual acknowledgements for the Pacers young players will evolve next year into the Pacers getting some votes for the most promising young core.

Check out the links:

Game Preview: Pacers at Knicks | NBA.com

Why are the Pacers rolling the ball up the court when they're winning? - Indy Star

Buying or Selling Raptors' Willingness to Move O.G. Anunoby and Latest NBA Trade Buzz | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors | Bleacher Report

Insider: With his future in limbo, Myles Turner proves himself indispensable to Pacers’ present

Rivalry, standings, and a ‘wannabe’ All-Star: Why Pacers at Knicks isn’t an ordinary January game

A major NBA trade deadline player hardly anyone's talking about? The Toronto Raptors

Indiana Pacers, Fever team up with IMPD to reach youth - WRTV

How Will Obi Toppin Get Back Into New York Knicks' Rotation? - Sports Illustrated New York Knicks News, Analysis and More

Indiana Pacers injury updates for Aaron Nesmith, Daniel Theis, Kendall Brown, and TJ McConnell - Sports Illustrated Indiana Pacers news, analysis and more

'Night night,' watch Myles Turner block Mason Plumlee to seal Indiana Pacers win - Sports Illustrated Indiana Pacers news, analysis and more

Midseason Report Cards: Grades for all 15 teams in the East | NBA.com

NBA Midseason Media Survey | NBA.com

The NBA, Ranked (Tyrese Haliburton No. 20) - The Ringer