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Tyrese Haliburton: Commanding the Court like an NBA Legend

Tyrese Haliburton: Commanding on the Court like an NBA Legend

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Home » blog » basketball » NBA » Tyrese Haliburton: Commanding on the Court like an NBA Legend

Tyrese Haliburton is putting together a career, at a young age, that high in assists and low on turnovers.

He’s doing things on the basketball court that are legendary in terms of never done before in the history of the league.

Tyrese Haliburton’s assist to turnover ratio since he came into the NBA as a rookie, no one could ever ask for more. A coach feels very comfortable when his point guard has an assist-to-turnover ratio of 3:1.

A 3.5:1 ratio is legendary. John Stockton retired with a 3.7 career assist to turnover ratio, Magic Johnson’s left with a 2.89.

Chris Paul has a 4.01 career ratio. Today at 23 years-old, Haliburton has a 3.77 career assist-to-turnover ratio. He’s 4-5 years from the start of his prime.

Assist-to-Turnover Ratio

A look at young Tyrese Haliburton's assist-to-turnover ratio in 2024.

I’ve been reading some forums, some articles and posts from Reddit, it seems that many NBA fans, they don’t really understand what assist-to-turnover ratio is.

They think it’s a metric used to judge how good of a passer a player is. Here is a Bleacher Report excerpt from 2011.

“assist-to-turnover ratio is intended to be an assessment of a player’s passing ability. The problem is that it assumes all turnovers are passing turnovers. Players that handle the ball a lot, though, will have more ball-handling turnovers than those who don’t”. 

Bleacher Report Article from August 22, 2011.

ASSIST-TO-TURNOVER RATIO DOESN’T ASSESS A PLAYER’S PASSING ABILITY – NOT DIRECTLY, no assist-to-turnover ratio is a measure of…..

HOW WELL A PLAYER PROTECTS THE BALL.

Haliburton taking the ball up the court as a member of the Sacramento Kings.

If a player doesn’t protect the ball, then, no matter how well he can pass the ball, he’s not a good passer. That player, he has no business dribbling or passing the ball at all.

Anybody who doesn’t understand this, they don’t really understand the game of basketball. For they are nothing but casual observers of the game.

Tyrese Haliburton making a houdini pass against the Toronto Raptors

It doesn’t matter how well you can throw a Nikola Jokic behind your head pass, not if you can’t protect the ball.

This is one of the most important stats, especially for coaches of the game.

THE TOP TWO ASPECTS OF WINNING RINGS ARE DEFENSE & BALL PROTECTION, WITHOUT THEM,HOW MANY POINTS YOU SCORE IS IRRELEVANT.

Haliburton Breakdown

Tyrese Haliburton is putting together a career, at a young age, that high in assists and low on turnovers.

Tyrese Haliburton Assist-To-Turnover Ratio

  • 2020-21: 3.36
  • 2021-22: 3.16
  • 2022-23: 4.14
  • 2023-24 (So Far) 5.04

The Indiana Pacers young superstar point guard is way above schedule to where he should be at 23 years-old.

He’s already taken his game to a much higher level than normal progression usually allows. I knew Tyrese would be the best or second best point guard in the NBA – but he’s just ridiculous. He’s not just playing the toughest position at a high level, he’s doing it effortlessly.

The other side of the spectrum

With the addition of Pascal Siakam, the Indiana Pacers should be a more dangerous team than before in 2024.

Here a few players on the other side of the turnover tree.

  • James Harden – 1.91
  • Steph Curry – 2.05
  • Russell Westbrook – 2.06

Steph Curry is understandable because he’s not really a point guard. He’s an undersized shooting guard playing the point guard position. He possesses a shooting guard skillset with a handle though.

Since Curry doesn’t have the overall assist numbers of Harden or Westbrook, his ratio isn’t quite as damning. Less total assists, that equals less total turnovers.

I find it hilarious when people argue about is Steph Curry the greatest point guard ever, he’s not a point guard. He can’t even qualify for any point guard list.

Task number 1 for a point guard is ball protection, if you’re not protecting the ball, you can’t be the best or even in the discussion, what idiocy.

For me Steph is at the top of shooting lists & any list for combo guards but some of these fans show what they don’t know when they showcase they don’t even understand a point guard’s job.

James Harden, in 2022-23 & again in 2023-24, he’s been above a 3:1 ratio. I find it crazy that a player at his age began to protect the ball. In my educated opinion, this is due to Harden not focusing on scoring as much.

His career 1.91 assist-to-turnover ratio, it reflects the past two seasons too. He also holds the playoff game record with 12 turnovers – from the 2015 Western Conference Finals close-out game 5.

He & Russell Westbrook are the turnover kings of the NBA.

TOP 5 NBA Turnover Seasons All-Time

  1. 1) James Harden – 464 Tov – 2016-17
  2. 2) Russell Westbrook – 438 Tov – 2016-17
  3. 3) James Harden – 387 Tov – 2018-19
  4. 4) Russell Westbrook – 381 Tov – 2017-18
  5. 5) James Harden – 374 Tov – 2015-16

Early All-Time Returns

Tyrese Haliburton is about 4 years from the beginning of his prime, however, he’s already leading the NBA in assists. He’ll be named to his second straight All-Star Game too.

But…Did you know, all-time, out of every starting point guard that averaged at least 30 minutes per-game in the NBA, Tyrese Haliburton ranks second, only behind Chris Paul in career assist-to-turnover ratio.

His career ratio is 3.77, CP3’s is 4.01, looking at Haliburton’s ratio of 5.04 in 2023-24, I expect him to make a run at Paul’s impressive 4.01.

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I provide highly opinionated sports articles. Most of these are featured articles. They will likely differ from the thoughts, stories and ideas, recycled by TV, radio, etc.

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