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Here’s what Tyrese Haliburton expects for the Pacers in Game 7

Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton celebrates in front of New York Knicks guard Donte DiVincenzo, left, after making a three-point basket during the first half of Game 4 in an NBA basketball second-round playoff series, Sunday, May 12, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

NEW YORK (WISH) — As the saying goes, its the two greatest words in sports: Game 7. After the Pacers held serve at home on Friday, the series heads back to Madison Square Garden for the winner-take-all game.

Tyrese Haliburton said the whole team is excited for the opportunity. He said he expects it to be “the most unbelievable environment” that he’s ever played in during his NBA career. As for the actual game though, he doesn’t think its going to be the prettiest game of basketball.

“Game 7s are always so ugly,” Haliburton said. “So, I expect an ugly game, and I expect whoever plays harder to win.”

A lot of focus has been placed on Tyrese Haliburton and his aggressiveness offensively. In the three losses in the series, he’s only averaging 17.7 points on 11.3 field goal attempts per game. In the three wins, he’s averaging 23.3 points per game on 17.7 shots, but he’s not focused on those stats, or that particular definition of aggressiveness.

He cares about playing within the flow of the game, whether that is getting his own shot or opening up shots for his teammates.

“Aggressive doesn’t mean shooting 30 shots,” Haliburton said. “Aggressive means getting downhill, getting two feet in the paint is kind of the old school way of thinking. I’m not really a box score watcher. I watch the game. I watch a lot of film to understand where can I be better. So, I don’t really trip off field goal attempts. Yeah, there’s been a correlation directly around my field goal attempts, and win and loss, but it’s not about that for me. It’s ‘Can I get two feet in the paint and draw help and do other things?’”

Pascal Siakam played in one of the most memorable Game 7s in recent history. It also happened to be in the Eastern Conference semifinals, when Kawhi Leonard hit a fadeaway buzzer beater that hit off the rim four times before finally falling. He emphasized coming out of the gates with energy and playing together as the most important things in a Game 7.

Rick Carlisle had a similar mindset, saying competition level and togetherness decide Game 7s.

Jalen Brunson has been nearly unstoppable at Madison Square Garden against the Pacers. After the Pacers put Aaron Nesmith on him as the primary defender, they’ve had more answers, but Brunson still torched them in Game 5 in New York for 44 points. He’s averaging 38.7 points per game in those three wins in New York, and shooting over 54% from the field.

“There’s no resting on him,” Rick Carlisle said. “There’s no feeling good about anything with him. It’s an endless task when you face a player like him in a series like this.”

The Knicks were dominant on the glass in Game 5, but the Pacers neutralized them in Game 6. They flipped a 15 offensive rebound deficit into a one offensive rebound advantage. Haliburton mentioned rebounding as something they have to do well so that they can get out in transition.

Game 7 is set to tip off at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday. WISH-TV will have live coverage from Madison Square Garden.