When an entire team is not playing like themselves, there are typically individuals that aren’t playing to their potential.
Several Indiana Pacers have had questionable moments on the current Western Conference road trip. Between technical fouls, poor defense and turnovers in bunches, the Pacers are certainly ready to head home.
One player in particular has stood out in the wrong way during Indiana’s first four games out of the five-game slate: Roy Hibbert. The big man in the middle.
Despite averaging nearly eight rebounds a game over the last four contests, including two double-doubles against Golden State and Sacramento, Hibbert has been inconsistent and quite frankly, not himself.
Roy began the trip with an excellent showing against the Warriors. His final stat line read: 14 points (7-11 field goals), 13 rebounds and two blocks in 36 minutes. The next game at Phoenix was the complete opposite. Hibbert looked lost, immobile and ineffective around the basket throughout. He finished that game with six points (3-8 FG), four rebounds, six fouls and three turnovers in 28 minutes.
Hibbert is averaging five fouls a game on the western swing through four games. In Indiana’s two wins, Hibbert has played 36+ minutes and recorded double-doubles in both victories, but has also picked up eight fouls.
In the Pacers’ two losses, Hibbert has fouled out both games, played less than 28 minutes in each outing and has only taken 11 shots, resulting in 11 total points. Roy has shot 1-5 from the free throw line and grabbed seven total rebounds in the two losses.
The entire month of January has been interesting for the Pacers big man. His minutes, point totals and field goals have been very inconsistent, in part because of foul trouble. Getting in a groove early is vital for Hibbert to stay in the game longer periods of time. His first quarter play is usually a good indication of how the game is going to go for the 7-2 center.
In January alone, Hibbert has fouled out of three games, averaging 23 MPG in those three performances. Indiana needs a big game from Hibbert on Tuesday in Los Angeles versus the Lakers so that the Pacers can fly back to Indy with a winning record on the western trip.