If you check your clocks, you might notice that clutch time is now Tyrese Time.
With Tyrese Haliburton’s Pacers looking to advance past Damian Lillard and the Bucks in the Semifinals of the NBA’s first-ever In-Season Tournament, Haliburton sent a resounding message to the world with his 27-point, 15-assist performance. As the game wound down, the rising superstar put his stamp on the game with a stepback dagger that effectively put the game away for good.
After draining a 3 to put his team up eight points with under a minute remaining, Haliburton took a page out of Lillard’s book, looking down at his wrist before saying “I know what time it is,” before pointing to himself.
— NBA (@NBA) December 8, 2023
The celebration, which is a clear play off of Lillard’s signature “Dame Time” celebration, got a rise out of Pacers legend Reggie Miller, who was on the ESPN broadcast for the In-Season Tournament.
“I love it!” Miller exclaimed. “He knows what time it is!”
Haliburton’s celebration certainly became the talk of the NBA world, with his performance effectively eliminating Lillard and the Bucks while doubling as an announcement to the world that the Pacers are no longer on the rise — they have arrived.
After the game, Haliburton said just as much, opting against acknowledging that the celebration was about his team, not a troll of — or homage to — Milwaukee’s seven-time All-Star.
“It’s our time. It’s our time as a group,” Haliburton said, per Pacers beat writer Scott Agness. “We’re playing the right way. We’re shocking the world right now and we’re going to continue to do that.”
Lillard, who finished with 24 points on 7-of-20 shooting, took it in stride, telling reporters, “For as many times as I’ve done it to people, I can’t be upset when somebody else does it. I think that’s also a sign of respect and acknowledgment for knowing my history and knowing what I do. I didn’t mind it, it was what it was.
“I’ve also known that when you’re having your moment, it’s important to be careful and to be humble when you’re having your moments because you just never know how the tables turn and when they’re gonna turn. So, I respected it. We shook hands after the game, I wasn’t moved by it left or right.”
The Pacers, who moved to 12-8 on the season, will now advance to play for the first-ever NBA Cup, where they await their Western Conference opponent.
We’ll see if Tyrese Time continues onto the tournament’s biggest stage.
Source : ESPN.com