Since the second the final buzzer sounded on the Heat/Pacers game last night, debate has been raging over whether or not Frank Vogel cost his team the game by keeping Roy Hibbert on the bench on the final possession. Without Hibbert on the floor, LeBron James had a clear lane to the hoop and the win.
Could Roy have stopped LeBron’s drive (or at least fouled him)? Debatable. After the game, Roy swore he’d never sit idly by ever again.
From Yahoo!’s Adrian Wojnarowski today:
The coach gone to the interview podium, his teammates showered and dressed, Hibbert made a vow to Yahoo! Sports.
Never again does he sit silently with something so important slipping away.
“I’ve grown as a player, this is my fifth year and maybe I need to start talking up more,” Hibbert told Yahoo! Sports in the losing locker room. “They pay me [max-contract money] for a reason.
“I didn’t say anything, and I wish I did. From now on, I need to speak up.”
To his credit, Hibbert refused to put blame on his coach, fully realizing that he could have done more throughout the game, conceivably putting Indiana in spot to win earlier in the night:
When it was over, Hibbert desperately wished he had the chance, but make no mistake: He wasn’t playing that “I-knew-I-would’ve-had-it” nonsense. If James had cradled the ball near his body, Hibbert knows he probably could’ve drawn the foul. Had James extended his reach to lay it on the glass, yes, Hibbert knows he could’ve blocked James’ shot.
“But I’m not going to put it all on Coach,” Hibbert said. “I gave up some possessions, some offensive rebounds. We wouldn’t have been in that position if I had handled my business.”
Would having Roy on the court during the final possession made any difference last night?
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