Feb 14, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; Eastern Conference forward Roy Hibbert during the 2014 NBA All Star game Player Press Conferences at New Orleans Hyatt. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The Mighty Struggles of Roy Hibbert

Roy Hibbert

Seven-foot-two centers are supposed to affect the game on the defensive end above all else, and Roy Hibbert is given all the respect in the world in that regard. Opposing coaches take note of how he protects the paint like it’s his sacred home, and that’s more than nearly all teams can say they have in their big man.

Nevertheless, Hibbert’s offense has been down in the dumps since he was drafted in 2008, and the hard work he puts into every offseason has yet to pay off. He shows up in the playoffs against Miami, and maybe that’s all fans want and need him to do. But, it’s about time the former Hoya asserts himself against the league’s better front-court assets.

While nobody expects Hibbet to ever become Hakeem Olajuwon on the block — or even Al Jefferson — he needs to provide something. And for the past two months, he has arguably been doing more damage than good on the offensive end.

Since January 4, Hibbert — a career 47.1% shooter — has made just 42.5% of his field-goal attempts, according to NBA.com. In these 30 games, Roy has scored more than 15 points just four times.

Away from home it’s been even worse. In the team’s 13 road games since January 4, he has shot 40.0%. The fact that he is shooting just 64.0% from the free-throw line in away games in this period, as well, may be even more troubling. As is this number: Roy is averaging just 7.7 points and 4.8 boards (!!!) per game in Indiana’s last 9 losses.

Here is his shot chart for the past 30 games, which highlights Hibbert’s disgusting 32.1% shooting (on 81 attempts) from the paint, not including the restricted area.


In addition to the raw numbers, if we look at some of the biggest match ups Hibbert has had against marquee big men this year, we also see that he is struggling to have an impact.

While it would take an hour to dissect all of Hibbert’s disappointing performances, look at some of the notable numbers he’s placed against the better power forwards/centers this season:


November 11 vs. Memphis – Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph
3 points (1-of-4), 7 rebounds

November 25 vs. Minnesota – Kevin Love, Nikola Pekovic
4 points (2-of-7), 5 rebounds

November 27 at Charlotte – Al Jefferson
14 points (4-of-14), 10 rebounds

December 16 vs. Detroit – Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe
6 points ( 2-of-12), 4 rebounds

December 20 vs. Houston – Dwight Howard
9 points (3-of-8), 6 rebounds

January 4 vs. New Orleans – Anthony Davis, Alexis Ajinca
6 points (2-of-7 ), 8 rebounds

January 8 at Hawks – Paul Millsap, Pero Antic
2 points (1-of-8 ), 4 rebounds

January 18 vs. Clippers – Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan
4 points (2-of-11), 11 rebounds

January 24 at Sacramento – DeMarcus Cousins
10 points (3-of-11), 11 rebounds

February 7 vs. Portland – LaMarcus Aldridge, Robin Lopez
4 points (2-of-8), 6 rebounds

February 22 at Milwaukee – Zaza Pachuila, John Henson
4 points (1-of-9), 6 rebounds
(although he did follow up with a 24-point, 10-of-16 outing vs. MIL five days later)

March 2 vs. Utah – Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter
2 points (1-of-9), 4 rebounds

March 5 at Charlotte – Al Jefferson
4 points (2-of-8), 4 rebounds
(while allowing Jefferson to erupt for 34 points on 16-of-25 attempts)

The crazy part: Eight of those games were in front of the Pacers’ home crowd, where Hibbert usually loves to establish his post presence to open a game.

The blasphemous part: Ten of them resulted in wins for Indiana.

Frank Vogel’s group has the mentality that they don’t necessarily need Hibbert to play a Shaquille O’Neal-type game in order to excel and win games, but the notion has always been that Hibbert’s dominance will push them past Miami in May. It is best for the team to center its attention on getting Hibbert ready for the postseason. Because a couple of nightmare showcases could strip any chance they have at matching the intensity the champs are currently feeding off.

Roy, it’s time to start asserting yourself as a 7-foot center on the offensive end, consistently.

In fact, it’s beyond time.

Tags: Indiana Pacers Roy Hibbert

  • ian

    Grabbing under 10 rebounds per game at 7 ft is blasphemous.

    • thejoshbaker

      He should be getting more almost certainly, but I’m gonna guess he’s losing somewhere between 1 and 2 a game to Lance stealing them, which would make the numbers less grotesque.

      • David Searle

        Hibbert is one of the league leaders in contested rebounds per game, and the Pacers are #1 in defensive rebounding %. Hibbert is frequently on the move contesting shots, so he blocks out his man and lets Lance or PG swoop in for the board. The Pacers are an elite rebounding and interior defending team, and Hibbert does more than his fair share on both counts.

  • Jack Wright

    u should all heed my advice: DON’T WORRY ABOUT BIG ROY.

  • Gary Bo

    yep!!!!to everything you wrote. Additionally his defense is tanking too. I think it’s fair to say that Ian has outplayed Hibbert in several games recently.

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  • Derek Cooper

    Yea roy looks a bit deflated. Don’t immagine that would have anything to do with roy being expected to absorb the blows of 200 lb masses of muscle hips and elbows coming at him full speed to prevent points on the defensive end_ only to run back down to the offensive side and watch some of our guards jacking up bad shot after bad shot after bad shot and turn the ball over and over and over….and sometimes when they finaly do give him the ball its a bad pass and not really when he’s in good position. Imagine how de-motivating that would be. I say good job to roy for keeping his composure. Of course from the fans perspective u look at his contract and say hey rebound defend and earn your big paycheck but from roys perspective I can see how it’d be tough when others are playing around on offence. ________post players in general and especially roy in particular do better when they have space to operate_ vogel should play copeland some at the 4spot with roy to create some space for him and then consistantly get him the ball so he can get into a rhythm on offence.

    • Derek Cooper

      If you (perimeter players) move the ball on offence and occaisionally-rarely throw in some fancyness or make a high degree of difficulty shot when there’s no other option_ then u look cool + tough and its fun and good. And probably roy stays more motivated and your team is really good._______on the other hand_______if you (perimeter players) use the offensive end for your own personal shitty-showboat-playground-funtime__that demotivates roy which makes your team stink_ and then your poor decision making on offence really makes you look like a jackass on a stinky team._____(actually I haven’t watched the last few games but its seemed to be that way sometimes lately when I have watched).

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