After missing a potential game-winning shot in Milwaukee, it was obvious that Roy Hibbert still has a long way to go before being a consistent go-to-guy with the game on the line.
But learning from that tough lesson and moving on is the only way to improve. That's why it was nice to see Hibbert bounce back from the disappointment in Milwaukee to make several plays to help the Indiana Pacers close out the Charlotte Bobcats on Friday night.
While on the court against Charlotte, Hibbert was productive, finishing with a stat sheet full of goodies including 13 points, 14 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 blocks. Unfortunately that stat line also included 5 fouls which kept Hibbert strapped to the bench for extended time.
But with the Pacers up five, Hibbert checked back into the game with 4:26 left on the clock. Once again the game could go either way and it was winning time. All Hibbert did was grab three rebounds, dish out two assists for Darren Collison layups and hit a nice baseline, jump hook which put the Pacers up 10.
"I just want to become a leader and let people know they can depend on me at the end of games," Hibbert said following the win. "So I'm happy that we pulled this one out."
There was certainly no trepidation in Hibbert's game when he returned to the court. In fact, there was a confident bounce in his step. He looked like he was excited to make something happen even though he wanted to stay within himself. No matter what he did last night, it wouldn't erase the miss in Milwaukee, so playing through crunch time wasn't a shot at redemption but rather another chance to get better.
"I just wanted to get as many stops and defensive rebounds as I could and just get out and run," Hibbert said. "Then on offense just trying to stay focused and make a play when guys give me the ball."