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Pacers' Week In Review: The Roy Hibbert Fights Back Edition

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The latest breakdown of the week's Pacer/NBA-themed chatter with cameos made by Angry Roy, a frenzied trade market, and bags over the head.

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

It's been nearly three months since the Week-in-Review Crew (WIRC) dropped its latest edition. Like Brett Favre with football and masseuses, I guess we just couldn't stay away; especially after such a jam-packed week of NBA news. So, without further ado, here are the latest WIRC musings:

Uno: "...And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next."

Forget about 'Big Roy' or 'Area 55,' how about Roy Hibbert the Grouch?

As most of you have probably noticed, Hibbert's been playing with a bit of an edge as of late. He did this after a blatant shove from Carlos Boozer, and he did this after a wrist-flick thingy from second-year Jazzman, Rudy Gobert. His recent behavior has a lot of Pacers' fans and non-Pacers' fans alike asking, why? Why the tough-guy routine after seven years of mostly affable big-man harmony? Naturally, this question led me to concoct the following three conspiracy theories:

Conspiracy Theory #1: The same guy who once upon a time couldn't walk and chew gum at the same time--or even do a single pushup--is now a compact 280, MMA-trained, and semi-coordinated. And he's ready to prove it to his NBA peers and tough guys everywhere watching at home.

Conspiracy Theory #2: The rest of the NBA knows all about Hibbert's mental frailty. To be fair, Hibbert's partly to blame for this: one, he's talked about it openly, and two, his fluctuations in play further validate it. So why wouldn't the opposition test his on-court psyche with a little talk, sock, or drop?

Conspiracy Theory #3: Because his mom said he can.

Maybe it's one of them. Maybe it's none of'em. Maybe it's a mix of all three ... okay, so we know Hibbert's grouchiness is, in part, related to #3:

More interestingly, however, he alluded to #2 being in play as well:

Whatever the genesis, you'd like to see Hibbert be more selective with all the "You mad bro?" huffing and puffing. Here at WIRC HQ, we support any grown man defending himself within reason. But when it comes to professional athletes, you'd like to see them do it in a way that doesn't adversely affect their team, like, say, giving the opposition a free point. Overall, though, it's hard to fault Hibbert for his antics as he averaged 16 points, 9.5 rebounds, and a block in the two combustible contests.

Dos: "The hideousness of that foot will haunt my dreams forever."

You begged and begged and begged, and Frank Vogel, in turn, has tried valiantly to answer your calls. Here are just a few Pacer-fan complaints I recall hearing at the end of last season: "Fewer isos!" "Less ball dominance!" "No more selfish dudes!"

The eye test tells me Vogel and the Pacers are working really hard to remedy the problems on offense. The players are moving the ball more, looking for the open man more, and making more of a concerted effort to play off one another rather than play for themselves. Yet the Pacers still rank 28th in Offensive Rating, 26th in PPG, 20th in APG, and 27th in team FG%.

So, what gives?

I don't think anyone's put it more succinctly than Amin Elhassan who tweeted this about a week ago:

And never was his analysis more apparent than on the Pacers' final play against the Lakers; a play that ended with Hibbert heaving the ball off the top of the backboard.

Trece: "...Get your ugly, yella, no-good keister off my property."

It was a busy week on the trade front in the NBA. First, the Cavaliers, Knicks, and Thunder, exchanged headaches, draft picks, and roster fodder. Then, the 76ers played the Frederic Weis to the Clippers' Vince Carter in taking on Jared Cunningham for basically nothing, freeing up a roster spot for the Clips. Two days later, the Cavaliers traded two protected first-rounders for Timofey Mozgov who'll now be counted upon to save Cleveland's subpar season. To cap it off, the Celtics went draft-pick shopping in two separate deals which landed Brandan Wright in Phoenix and Jeff Green in Memphis. As if the Western Conference needed more firepower.

Regarding the Mozgov trade, most experts seemed to agree: two first-rounders for an average-to-above-average rim protector is a lot to give up, but no pair seemed more inexplicably bitter/hyperbolic about it than one current and one former writer for the Miami Heat:

Jilted-lovers' talk aside, I pose the question: let's pretend we're all Larry Bird for a moment, and let's say Dion Waiters hadn't been traded yet. If the Cavaliers had called and said, "Yo, Larry, we'll give you Dion, salary filler, and two future first-rounders for Roy..." would you have said yes?

Miscellaneous Tweets and Threads

Pacers vs. Lakers

Don't feel too good about your team Lakers' fans, it wasn't the first time (for the Pacers) and it won't be the last:

First time the Lakers managed to keep an opponent below 90 pts this season.

Helped, of course, by the fact that Indy went 0/16 from deep for a stretch.

by LakerAce on Jan 4, 2015 | 10:29 PM reply

Pacers vs. Jazz

The "Hibbert the Grouch" Effect courtesy of Jazz fans:

Well that was fun

Good game Jazz! And I just want to say that Hibbert annoys the hell out of me

by Dayman_fighterofthenightman on Jan 5, 2015 | 9:41 PM reply

agreed

Didn't know I hated him til now

by superdeno on Jan 5, 2015 | 9:42 PM up reply

Yeah

He seems to have a fake toughness about him, or something like that.

by Dayman_fighterofthenightman on Jan 5, 2015 | 9:45 PM up reply

that is what Boozer said last night about him

by superdeno on Jan 5, 2015 | 9:46 PM up reply

Man, when Boozer is bagging on your toughness...

by meworkingman on Jan 6, 2015 | 11:39 AM up reply

Pacers vs. Warriors

Warriors' fan in the first quarter:

Watson shoved Livingston off ... and they say he's fouled?

"I don't believe in a ceiling. I believe in a work ethic." - Draymond Green

by Ronaldinho on Jan 7, 2015 | 8:01 PM reply

Second quarter:

latest whistle ever

come on

by joeybw87 on Jan 7, 2015 | 8:29 PM reply

Third quarter:

David West never commits a foul in his life

by starbury_to_s-jaxci2000 on Jan 7, 2015 | 9:09 PM reply

Fourth quarter and the Warriors running away with it:

what is the point spread ref trying to cover it

Win Or Lose Warriors For Life.........

by mykelala01 on Jan 7, 2015 | 9:33 PM reply

An old coach of mine had a saying that seems applicable to Warriors' fans here: "Winning sometimes breeds entitlement."

Celtics vs. Pacers

Vogel would be so proud:

People seem to forget that Pacers is the 2nd best team in the NBA in defense. Don't expect to shoot lights out against them. Their offense might be garbage, but their defense is great. It's got to be an ugly, grind out game.

by MSTRKRFT on Jan 9, 2015 | 8:11 PM reply

exactly. EVERY IND game is UGLY with a capital U

That's their MO. UGLY up every possession and beat you up.

by PickNRoll3332 on Jan 9, 2015 | 8:19 PM up reply

Pacers vs. 76ers

Yeah, Sixers' Fans, we know:

Teams #1 in the league in Steals

1 in the league at forcing turnovers

6 in the league in blocks

9 in Offensive Rebounds

Some nice small qualities to this team

by potato623 on Jan 10, 2015 | 7:29 PM reply

The best Josh-Smith slight ... possibly ever?

Somebody on the Dream Shake had the funniest line ever about a missed (Josh) Smith 3

Had no choice,
it was either that or do something smarter.

by yelloweye on Jan 2, 2015 | 7:48 PM up reply

It could be worse, Pacers' fans:

Love me some lukewarm Solo love:

Just because I like random things:

Darvin Ham with the Peanut Butter and Jam!

Oh, and how did we ever survive life without High Definition?

Pacers' schedule for the week:

Tue, Jan. 13: Timberwolves at Pacers, 7:30 PM (EST)

Fri, Jan. 16: Pistons at Pacers, 7:00 PM

Sat, Jan. 17: Pacers at Hornets, 7:00 PM