The Best Play of the Pacers Season So Far

As mentioned on his report card, Roy Hibbert often looked like a man among boys last night against the Hawks lineup. As Bret LaGree of the Hawks blog Hoopinion noted, this was in part due to the fact that Al Horford left the game early with an injury. He wrote that, in the third quarter, with Jason Collins starting at center in the play of Horford, “the Pacers ran the Hawks out of the gym, partially on the basis of Hibbert not having to worry about Collins and being free to protect the rim.”

Of course, there was a reason Horford left the game. And it was due to his shoulder getting banged up when Hibbert and Paul George sent a tag-team swat team after two of his shot attempts.

The result was the easily the best Pacers sequence so far this young season. Horford gets swatted, regathers and gets swatted again. Vlad Rad picks up the loose ball and gets his attempt block nearly before it even leaves his hands.

Then it’s off to the races the other way as Paul George adeptly leads a break, but slows it down rather than forcing a drive (perhaps due to the fact that he, not so surprisingly, almost lost his dribble). He finds a posting Hibbert, who had hustled down the court and looks poised to a make a move. But instead sees a wide-open David West cutting through the lane for to turn the Indiana power-play (Horford was lying on the floor at the other end) into a dunk.

Ball movement city.

* UPDATE: Didn’t know about the severity of Al’s injury when originally posting. In the grand scheme of things, this play really sucks. Al Horford tore his left pec during the exchange and will now be out up to 4 months. Crappy, crappy stuff. No insensitivity intended. Was unaware.

Tags: Al Horford Atlanta Hawks Blocks David West Highlights Paul George Roy Hibbert Vladimir Radmonovic

  • Adam (The Maestro) Stout

    Even knowing the seriousness of Horford’s injury on this play, it’s not insensitive in any way to admire the greatness of the defensive sequence and the beautiful execution on the other end. I hate that Horford went down… I hate seeing any player get injured, no matter how much of a menace they may be to our team. The fact that Horford seems to be one of the good guys makes it even worse. But there was nothing dirty about our defense on that play (not that anyone said there was), and it’s still perfectly reasonable to admire the entire sequence. Also, I don’t think there was any way that the Hawks had a chance last night even if Horford had played the whole game.

    All that said, I wish him a speedy recovery and hope that this injury isn’t so much that it takes the Hawks out of the playoff picture. I really think they’re a deep enough team to still get in, and I wish the team and Al the best.