For all the good things Roy Hibbert does on defense, he needs to be just as strong on the offensive end. Especially when you consider that Paul George has to be play so tough on the defensive end, and might not get it done on the other side. But Roy Hibbert has such an advantage there in the middle. As long as there’s no double team coming, he’s got to pound the ball inside, and work that ball through the hoop. He’s also become great at getting the offensive rebounds or even tipping it out to the team. That’s been something that he’s really excelled at. Even during my own times of playing basketball, I pull the Hibbert tip out, and don’t rebound the ball, but hit it to a guy who’s going to rebound. It’s almost like the old school days of hitting a game winning shot like Reggie Miller.
But this doesn’t negate that Hibbert has to be strong on the defensive end as well. In that middle, he can play tough, and stop guys from driving so easily. He’s got to be so smart down there, and not foul because he’s going to have to be there for the majority of the game. Sure he’ll get his rest here and there, but he’s going to be on the floor a lot more since the Pacers have such a great advantage there. Even if he can’t block a shot, but getting in that guy’s face, and making someone think twice about driving the lane is what Hibbert has to be there for.
I love the way Hibbert is rounding into this all around player. He’s really come alive in this series, and just has that confidence flowing. If the Pacers can continue to feed him the ball, and he can score, you know that big smile of his will be around. Hibbert is just a mental player, and I don’t know if that will change. I’ve talked many a times about how you know what kind of game Hibbert will have or is having by his body language. The game of basketball can really be all about that. When a guy is making shots, and has a big smile on his face, you know he wants to keep playing hard. But if you make a bad pass, and your head drops to the floor, chances are you’re not going to turn that around. You’ll be thinking too much about that one pass, and the game will be passing you by. Hibbert is that type of mental player. People can say all they about how he should perform, but I believe his performance right now is keeping the Pacers alive in this series. He’s putting in baskets. He’s rebounding strong. He’s controlling the paint. What more could Hibbert do? Now if this carries over, no one will have any reason to complain about Hibbert’s game. This series should build up that wall of confidence that Hibbert needs. And the Pacers will be an even stronger team.