Tyrese Haliburton prepares for LeBron James clash.

According to Indiana coach Rick Carlisle, who played in the NBA as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar reached retirement and coached Michael Jordan in Washington, LeBron James is not the same

James is still in his prime. I'm watching him last night, and it's great," Carlisle said Friday. “Someone gave me the stat on this guy. He's the only NBA player to be both the youngest and oldest. That shows his incredible longevity and excellenc

“He's the all-time leading scorer and an NBA Mount Rushmore inductee. Tomorrow, we'll face that.”

James and the Lakers (14-9), who enter the in-season tournament championships Saturday on a three-game winning run, are predictable. They defeated the New Orleans Pelicans in the semifinals Thursday night after dominating their way here.

James will be tournament MVP if the Lakers win. Carlisle discussed James' legacy in the light of the NBA's bright future. He may be tutoring a key player.

Tyrese Haliburton averages 26.9 points and 12.1 assists while shooting 50-40-90 on field goals, threes, and free throws. He jumped around at a media conference Friday, reveling in the spotlight as he helped Indiana (12-8), also on a three-game winning run, become one of the NBA's most interesting teams.

I just think for us, we're not supposed to be here and nobody expected us to be here,” Haliburton added. “We're expected to lose most tournament games. We weren't meant to win Philly. We were expected to lose Boston. Milwaukee, we were not meant to win. It's been wonderful to write it into the plot.

“But it's not done. We must be ready for tomorrow's game and approach it properly.” After the Lakers' win Thursday, coach Darvin Ham claimed he didn't know how to contain Haliburton and the Pacers, but Cam Reddish and Anthony Davis are likely to help.

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