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Why Has Roy Hibbert Disappeared For The Indiana Pacers In The 2014 NBA Playoffs?

Submitted by on May 6, 2014 – 10:53 amOne Comment

During the 2013-14 NBA regular season, Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert played a big role in the success of his team. At 7-foot-2, Hibbert is a force to be reckoned with in the paint. So even though he didn’t average the most eye-popping numbers during the regular season—he put up about 11 points and grabbed about 7 rebounds per game—his mere presence in the post forced opposing teams to alter the way they chose to attack the Pacers. And more often than not, it helped the Pacers win games. So we can’t understand what in the world is going on with Hibbert right now. He is, well, not playing very well at all and it’s costing his team playoff games.

Through eight playoff games this postseason, Hibbert is only averaging about 5 points and 4 rebounds. And in three of those games, he hasn’t put up a single point. It’s one of the many reasons that the Pacers are struggling right now—and it’s why Hibbert’s teammates have now gotten so frustrated that they’ve resorted to calling him out in the media.

“We’re at the point where we really need Roy and we need him now,” Hibbert’s teammate Paul George said after the Pacers lost Game 1 of their best-of-7 series with the Washington Wizards last night. “We need our big fella to rebound the ball for us.”

In Game 1, Hibbert failed to record a single point or grab a single rebound. And while that wasn’t Indiana’s only problem, the fact that they got outrebounded 53-36 during the game speaks directly to how ineffective Hibbert has been. He isn’t doing what the Pacers need him to do and, as a result, the Pacers aren’t winning. It’s as simple as that.

To his credit, Hibbert knows that the Pacers need more from him. And he seems more frustrated than anyone else about his recent lack of production.

“I got to be a different Roy Hibbert than I have been,” he said last night.

But is there something here that we’re missing? Hibbert is 7-foot-2. So why can’t he score? Or rebound? Or do anything to help his team? There has to be a psychological barrier that he’s struggling to break down. And unfortunately, it’s going to be difficult for him to do it under the extreme pressure that he’s now facing. So all that Pacers fans can do at this point is hope and pray for the best. Because without Hibbert, Indiana isn’t going to go anywhere in the playoffs.

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