While discussing Roy Hibbert's struggles prior to Game 2, Frank Vogel mentioned that Hibbert was the Pacers' fifth offensive option. As such, Hibbert won't have his number called but instead has to earn his touches.
Well, Hibbert's fingerprints were all over the Pacers 86-82 win in Game 2 which evened up the series at 1-1. Now the Pacers have to go to Washington and try to recapture home court advantage with a road win. Here are a few notes from the Fieldhouse along with the links:
- If Hibbert is option five, then George Hill would be four, Lance Stephenson three, David West two and Paul George one. Those options produced in inverse order of importance in Game 2 with Hibbert (28), Hill (14) and Stephenson (12) leading the way with a combined 54 points. Vogel on Hibbert's big night: "We didn't call any more plays for Roy tonight than we have all series. That's the remarkable thing. He did it on his own. When you play with a certain level of force, the ball finds you."
- Hibbert spoke of David West encouraging him continue searching within himself to work through his struggles because Hibbert was the only one who could do anything about it. "David talked to me about being the person who rescues himself when you're in the middle of the ocean,'' Hibbert said on the post-game podium. "There's nobody to throw you a life raft or a rope to help you.'' Hibbert was swimming like Michael Phelps last night.
- Paul George and George Hill took Hibbert bass fishing near their homes on Geist where they were just there for their teammate as opposed to trying to motivate the big man. "Yesterday after practice, he (PG) invited me out on his boat and we fished for about two hours, and just relaxed and didn't talk about basketball," Hibbert said. "We just talked about life and trying to catch some bass." They at least caught one bass.
- Hill and Stephenson were forceful on offense, making John Wall and Bradley Beal work on the defensive end of the court. Stephenson missed his first nine shots before making some big ones down the stretch. My favorite play came down the stretch on a turnover in the fourth quarter. Stephenson gallloped up court with the ball and could've taken it at a pair of retreating Wizards to try and at least draw a foul, instead he down shifted, remained in control of the ball and made a simple pass to a streaking George Hill who was able to finish at the rim. Sometimes simple is spectacular.
- Bradley Beal was fantastic while the Wiz suffered through John Wall having an off shooting night. With Paul George chasing him much of the night, Beal initiated most of the offense in the second half for the Wiz and still made some big shots. As Vogel said after the game, Beal only had 17 points but it seemed like he had 35. I imagine John Wall will spend the off day hearing the "What's wrong?" questions that Hibbert was getting. That's not a good thing for the Pacers as Wall returns to play on his familiar home court.
- The Pacers played well enough to win but this game could've gone either way down the stretch. Indiana made the plays at winning time to get it done, which they will still have to do three more times. They simply have to play at a high level to beat the Wizards, so any more lapses will eventually put the Pacers in a bind.
- While the Pacers announced that Andrew Bynum would no longer be with the team, the injured center hasn't been with the Pacers since the team traveled to Game 6 of the Atlanta series. According to Vogel, Bynum opted to stay home for that game and then he and Larry Bird worked out a departure plan. Oh, but everybody loved having Bynum around.
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