Tyrese Haliburton's NBA career has gotten off to a strong start, as the former Kings No. 12 overall draft pick finished fourth in rookie of the year voting and so far has been an integral part of the team's 3-2 start to the season.
Haliburton ended up with eight assists in the Kings' win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday, five of which were scored by big man Richaun Holmes. After the big road win, both Haliburton and Holmes spoke about the "special" bond they have developed when out on the floor together.
"From the moment I got here, you know, a special relationship between us grew to where we play off each other, and to be honest I didn't know much about Rich before I got here, and I quickly figured out that if I wanted an assist, it was easy to play with Rich," Haliburton said.
"He's just so creative with the ball, especially when getting downhill in the pick-and-roll, so for me, it's just about making sure I get space for him and give him room to operate, it's very very simple. He knows how to make the right pass and always makes the right decision, so he's very very tough to guard in the pick and roll," Holmes said.
When both Haliburton and Holmes have been on the court for the Kings, good things have followed. Per Basketball-Reference's lineup data, the duo has outscored opponents by 7.7 points per 100 possessions when both are on the floor.
Holmes in particular has been hugely impactful for the Kings through five games. Excluding Marvin Bagley's lone and brief appearance, Holmes has the best overall plus/minus per 100 possessions (10.9) of any Kings player.
The Kings re-signed Holmes to a reported four-year contract in August, and he already is earning each and every dollar.
If Holmes and Haliburton can continue maximizing their impressive connection, look out for the Kings as playoff contenders this season.