Butler, West Sit Hibbert Down for a Talk as Teammates Express Frustration With His Play

(Photo: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports)
(Photo: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports) /

Having “a talk” is rarely, if ever, a good thing.

It probably wasn’t fun to be Roy Hibbert last night after his 0 point, 0 rebound performance in a Game 1 loss to the Wizards, and it was probably even less fun when Rasual Butler and David West, the team’s two elder statesmen, had a closed door meeting with him.

Butler and West pulled the big fella to the side for talk, and it considering that West was as mad as he’s ever been when he dealt with the media that night, I doubt things went well for Roy.

I doubt we’ll ever know exactly what what was said, but I imagine there was a lot of four- and 12-letter words.

We do know how Paul George felt about Hibbert. “[It] comes down to us having heart and rebounding the ball,” George said. “We need our big fella to rebound the ball for us.”

Teammates questioning his heart is fine by me. Just have this playing in the background when you look at Hibbert’s stat line from Monday night.

And considering his performance since March, and more now in the playoffs, it was justified for the Pacers to feel this way.

So far in these 2014 playoffs, the Pacers are -7.9 with Hibbert on the floor, +6.5 when he’s off the floor. When he’s on the floor, the Pacers’ shooting percentage is 41.2, when’s he’s off it is 46.8 percent. And yes those on/off Numbers are worst on the team. They are even rebounding better with him off the floor.

According to NBA.com’s player tracking data, he touched the ball 9 times in the game, only half of his average in the playoffs, down from nearly 40 touches a game in the regular season. Numbers like that do make me at least consider if effort is a factor.

We’ve talked before how the offense gets clunky with him on the floor at it appears to be the same so far in the Wizards series. When the numbers say the Pacers are at their worst when he’s on the floor.

The only thing going his way is the fact it’s still hard to shoot over him, but he’s not having the same impact on as he once did in other areas. He used to be a player team’s had to be concerned with, now he’s a non-factor, or worse. Other than Game 7 against the Hawks, the Pacers haven’t played as well with him out there. This is flipped from the regular season where he was obviously a net positive when he was on the floor. In the regular season they were almost seven points better with him on the court. Not any more.

Frank Vogel may need to still start him — because he is an important part of the team — but when things are going south it makes it harder to understand why. I know it is more than numbers, that chemistry matters, and things like that. But at this point when his teammates are pissed at him, it gets harder and harder to want to see him on the floor.

At least Roy isn’t oblivious to his own absence of impact.