April 16, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert (55) high fives shooting guard Paul George (24) and shooting guard George Hill (3) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana defeated Minnesota 111-88. Mandatory credit: Michael Hickey-US PRESSWIRE

Losing Roy Hibbert Will Hurt the Indiana Pacers

I know it’s still a few days away before we find out what happens with Roy Hibbert, but I do think that if he’s gone from this Pacers team, they will be back to square one.  He might not be the primary focus, but he’s still a focus of the team.  They did look to feed the post at times during a game to get him going.  He always brings a presence to the defensive end that makes up for the lack of perimeter defense the Pacers have.

The way I see things happening is July 11th, Hibbert will sign the Portland Trailblazers offer, which means the Pacers have three days to match that offer.  That puts it at July 14th, so a good thing is, I can’t see this dragging on at all, and we will know by next week what’s the future of Roy Hibbert as a Pacers.

I could also point to the fact that Hibbert is great for the community, and I know that doesn’t count for much.  But look at the fact that there is an Area 55 in Banker’s Life dedicated to him.  How many times has there ever been that type of fan section for one player? I know there were different banners for guys, but that was a whole section for Roy Hibbert.  And he even took those fans out to a movie one night, that’s pretty big.

But the focus on the team is huge as well.  He looks to be a great teammate and someone that’s going to show how much he supports each player.  He can score in the post when called up as long as he gets that confidence going.  I believe with this past season and the way he improved, he would be even more confident playing in the post.  He does have a soft touch around the basket, and seems to have a hand on just about any rebound. That’s a whole piece to be missing.

I’d even go to say the Pacers will not be in contention for the third seed if Hibbert isn’t back next year.  I’d almost believe they drop to below the sixth seed as Danny Granger would go back to his ways of doing too much.  There would be lots of isolation plays for the wings, and there’s no way we’re feeding the post like we should.

I saw somewhere George Hill is putting out there that the Pacers need to look at Courtney Lee and bring him in as a back up shooting guard.  But I will tell Hill to tell the Pacers to make Hibbert the matching offer, and let’s get this Pacers team even better than what they were this past season.

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