The Indiana Pacers have upgraded NBA All-Star Tyrese Haliburton to questionable for tonight’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks. Haliburton missed the Pacers’ last two games due to a right ankle sprain.
Haliburton, however, joined coach Quin Snyder’s practice sessions, which opens the possibility of a return tonight. Bennedict Mathurin and Chris Duarte have already been ruled out by the team. Indiana’s backcourt will be very thin if the first-time NBA All-Star isn’t available.
The Indiana Pacers (31-38) are 12th in the Eastern Conference but are only one game behind the Washington Wizards (32-37) for the 10th seed.
Indiana is only 3-12 when Tyrese Haliburton is out of the lineup. The Pacers will be hard-pressed to win against the loaded Milwaukee Bucks minus their best player.
Meanwhile, the Bucks’ starting center, Brook Lopez, has been ruled questionable versus the Pacers due to a sore left ankle. The 2020 NBA champ apparently suffered the injury in Milwaukee’s 116-104 win over the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday.
The former NBA All-Star has been a big part of the Bucks’ rotation, particularly on defense and rebounding. He is averaging 15.5 points, the most since the 2016-17 season, to go with 6.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists.
The Bucks have already clinched a spot in the playoffs and may opt to give Brook Lopez more time to rest. If he isn’t available, Bobby Portis could start in his place.
Bennedict Mathurin: Right ankle sprain; Injured since March 9, 2023
Bennedict Mathurin, one the NBA’s most promising rookies, will be unavailable tonight for the Indiana Pacers versus the Milwaukee Bucks. Mathurin is dealing with a right ankle sprain, which could force him to sit out for a couple more games.
Mathurin has been integral in head coach Rick Carlisle’s rotation. He has already played 67 games, starting in six of them. Detroit’s prized rookie is averaging 16.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.4 assists.
Carlisle told the media on Monday that they will have a clearer picture of Mathurin’s return date once they arrive in Indiana. His team will host the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday.
One of the NBA’s best rookies can now reportedly travel with the Pacers once they begin a four-game road trip. They start that stretch on March 20 against the Charlotte Hornets.
By then, Bennedict Mathurin should be closer to a return.
Ben Simmons: Left knee and back soreness: Injured since: February 15, 2023
Ben Simmons last saw action on the court last Feb. 15 against the Miami Heat. He has since missed the Brooklyn Nets’ last 11 games.
The former NBA All-Star is dealing with left knee and back soreness, the same issues that caused him to sit out the 2021-22 season.
Nets head coach Jacques Vaughn told the media that the Nets would have a clearer picture when they finish their five-game West coast trip. Brooklyn is back in the Big Apple for tonight’s encounter against the Sacramento Kings but Simmons’ status hasn’t changed.