NBA Playoffs 2013: Roy Hibbert Signature Performance


May 11, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert (55) takes a shot against New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler (6) and guard Pablo Prigioni (9) in game three of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana defeats New York 82-71. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Was last night’s performance by Roy Hibbert enough to silence the critics? So many people were jumping on Mr. Hibbert about his play for most of the season. But then came the All Star break, and things started clicking.  Hibbert has looked so much better since that time, but I haven’t heard a peep from the people who were so quick to badmouth him.  What about those people stepping up to say Roy Hibbert has come around, and actually played his best game as a Pacer last night.  It might not have been eye popping, but those 24 points and 12 rebounds is probably what people are EXPECTING out of Roy.  But I will contend with that’s not the way this offense really rolls.  It might go inside out, but most of the time, those outside guys are making jump shots.  Hibbert is there to clean up the boards, like he did last night.  How about this for eye popping? Hibbert 8 offensive rebounds.  New York Knicks 10 offensive rebounds.  Hibbert ALMOST out rebounded the Knicks on the offensive glass by himself.

He’s got that confidence building up, and what better time as now the Pacers have this chance to slowly put away the Knicks.  If the Pacers continue to use Hibbert at his peak, then they will have a great shot at taking the series.  There’s not enough bigness on the Knicks to contend with Hibbert, so they do have to feed him the ball, and Hibbert does need to put the ball in the basket.  If he can continue to dominate the boards even better, but as a SUPPORTER of Hibbert all along, I’m glad to see him have that type of performance last night.

He is a very mental player, and maybe that will go away as he sees what he can do. But then again, it might just be something always there, and Hibbert has to learn how to deal with.  You can usually tell what kind of game Hibbert is going to have right in the first few minutes.  If he’s active, smiling, and getting baskets, look out. But there are those small lapses of missing the easy baskets, and Hibbert won’t be as aggressive.  If he can turn up that intensity consistently, just watch out for how good he can be.  Even now, he’s got to be at the top of the true center list.  I’d put him right up there with Marc Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies as the top centers in the league.  It’s hard to find those big men that can really help your team, and if you look at how the Grizzlies and Pacers are doing, it shows that a big man can help.  Side note, what a Finals match up that would be.  Grizzlies and Pacers.

But for now, I am going to enjoy Roy as he continues to improve upon his game.  Those critics will hopefully come around, and give out some kudos to him. I am sure Hibbert has heard those people who weren’t too pleased, I would imagine most athletes do with so much social media out there.  How could they not? But Hibbert is doing best by letting him game do the talking, and that’s the way it should be.  Hib Hib Hibbert.  Hib Hib Hibbert.