Mar 20, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers center Roy HIbbert (55) is double teamed by Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul (3) and forward Kenyon Martin (2) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana defeats the Los Angeles Clippers 102-89. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert made the All-Star game thanks to a strong start to the season, including five double-doubles in his first seven games, which had him contributing on a nightly basis as the Pacers won more games than most expected.
To the victor goes the spoils and in this case that was an All-Star invite for Hibbert. But it seemed like once he was selected as an All-Star, Hibbert lost his mojo. His game became inconsistent and when it was down (@Memphis, @New Orleans, @Chicago, @New York) his game was really down which contributed to the Pacers struggles to earn wins in February and early March.
But as Jonathan Auping mentions at 8.9, Hibbert returned to producing consistently in the Pacers last three games played on consecutive nights. I would add the two previous games against the Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks to that list, as well. But it is the practice time where the resurgence really took root.
It was a shame the Pacers wasted Hibbert's strong effort against the Knicks at BLF after he no showed in New York the night before. After watching Hibbert go through his individual pre-game work that night, it appeared he was onto something. Coach Brian Shaw was putting Hibbert through his paces and essentially mugging the big fella in the post to have him work on finishing through contact.
Roy was focused and indeed finishing through contact no matter how hard Shaw hammered him in the process. Lefty, righty, hook, jumper, it didn't matter. Hibbert was on point. In fact, it was so impressive that Lance Stephenson was sitting on the bench and started reacting with all sorts of positive verbal reinforcement as Hibbert continued to work through the harm and finish.
Hibbert had 24 and 12 in the loss to the Knicks but the hard work had started to pay off and if it continues the Pacers will reap the benefits of more wins to close out the season.