Heat Thrive When Hibbert Sits

Yesterday, Avi Friedman gave a good rundown of why it is imperative for Roy Hibbert to stay out of foul trouble tonight — and in any other game in this series the Pacers plan to win. When he is out, it changes the game. LeBron and D-Wade are able to drive into the paint much easier and the Pacers whole defensive strategy devolves from there.

As noted by ESPN Stats & Info, it’s no surprise that Miami has won both of the games so far in this series that have included foul trouble for Hibbert.

In the second half of Game 1, Hibbert sat for 11 minutes, 25 seconds spanning the third and fourth quarters, which is one reason the Heat outscored the Pacers by 14 points on field goals less than five feet from the basket in the second half.

Overall in Game 1, the Heat outscored the Pacers, 40-22, inside of five feet from the hoop.

In Game 4, the Pacers were minus-8 with Hibbert off the court, and minus-5 in rebound differential. With Hibbert on the bench from the 5:03 left in the third quarter until 6:11 left in the fourth, the Heat made seven field goals — including six within 12 feet of the basket (three each by Dwyane Wade and LeBron James).

Even without an inside scorer, the Heat have attacked the basket when Hibbert has been out of the game.

During the regular season, the Heat shot 62.3 percent on field goals less than 5 feet from the basket, which ranked fourth in the NBA (league average was 59.5).

With Hibbert on the floor, Miami’s field goal percentage inside of 5 feet drops to 51.7; however, with Hibbert on the bench, that percentage shoots up to 64.6. What’s more, the Heat attempt more than 42 percent of their shots inside of 5 feet when Hibbert is off the court, compared to less than 30 percent when Hibbert is playing.

Read Avi’s piece for a more detailed analysis, but those numbers make it pretty obvious that the Pacers need Roy Hibbert in the paint if they plan to have their best chance to win Game 5.

Topics: Miami Heat, Pacers Vs. Heat 2012 Playoffs, Pacers Vs. Heat 2012 Playoffs: Game 5, Roy Hibbert

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  • Jack H

    Good stats, especially the part about Hibbert missing so much time in the 3rd and 4th quarters.

    I am going to bring up something that many others have mentioned, but if he is making that big of an impact, why are we not giving Fesenko a little run to see if he can help protect the rim similarly.

    Would love to see it Frank, make it happen. Just cannot suffer through another 5 minutes of the Amundson-Handsbrough frontline.

  • NoLookPass

    We need to bring Tyler down back to the paint and not out hovering by the 3 point line. Sure we have slowed down Miller, Battier and James Jones but the Heat’s Big 2 are getting to the rim at will when Lou is in there and Barbosa when in can’t slow them down as show by his runaway worst plus/minus. Doing so may leave us open to some threes but I would love for the Heats scrubs to take most of the shots and the positive would be crowding things up not letting Wade and James just get to the rim and it should lock down the rebounding a bit more,

  • Avi Friedman

    I think an interesting idea (which will probably never happen) would be to start the 3rd with Collison, Hill, George, Granger and Hibbert. Then towards the end of the 3rd (when starters usually get rest going into the 4th) replace Hibbert with West so Roy can get some rest, West is capable of playing from thereon out. Then bring the normal lineup back a few minutes into the 4th. This might be an efficient way of keeping West and Hibbert out of foul trouble.