It feels like people have really soured on Roy Hibbert or even forgot about him. But I think he’s been a good piece for the Indiana Pacers this season. Sure, you can talk about that contract and whether he’s worth it or not. I personally think he is worth it, but the fact is he’s already here with the team, so why not look at how he is performing. On the defensive side of things, he’s been a force in the middle. It’s amazing to think that he’s got a real shot at making the All Defense team, and when is the last time you’ve said that about an Indiana Pacer?
The best part about Roy Hibbert’s defensive play is the block ability. You look at the league leaders for blocks, and Hibbert is right up there. One game he had 11 blocks on his way to a triple double. Once again, how many times can you say Pacers player triple double including blocks? That is very impressive for him. He’s second in total blocks this season with 116 and right around 2.7 per game. That really does help clog the middle of the lane if guys are going to attempt to drive on him. It helps out guys on the wings because they know they have that help in the middle. Hibbert has been a force on the defensive end to make up for some of the loss on the offensive end.
This is where people expect more out of Hibbert, and while I feel the same way, I also know this team isn’t running through the offense through Hibbert. He might get some shots through the post, but look at the emergence of Paul George and with as good as David West has been, those are the guys this offense is running through.
If the Pacers want to give Hibbert some shots, the key is doing it early. With Hibbert, I’ve always been a body language guy and you can tell when he’s feeling good about a game and when he’s not. It’s that confidence that seems to be lacking this season, and you could pin it on the fact that he’s not shot as well. If he’s not shooting well, he’s going to shy away from the basket. But if he’s aggressive and grabs a rebound, then he should just put that ball right back up. It’s not like he’s ever that far away from the rim. With his size, most of his time is spent in the post, where there are easy baskets to be had.
If he can get 10-12 points a night consistently, that would be a good expectation. He’s never going to be a 20 point 10 rebound guy, even if that’s what people say his “contract” should make him. He’s a guy that’s going to get his points when they come. If he can get even more than that 10-12 point range, that’s even better. But really, looking at how this offense is ran, he’s never going to be that big of a focus.
He’s a guy that will be here for the future, and he’s going to play a big role, which is why I’m excited to keep him around. Hibbert has this sense about him that he does love playing for the Pacers, and fans should love that.
What are your expectations for Roy Hibbert in the second half of the season?