For the fourth time in the 2014 NBA Playoffs and the sixth time over his last 21 games, Pacers big man Roy Hibbert put up a bagel in the scoring column. The runner-up for the 2014 DPOY was 0-for-4 with zero points during Indiana’s Game 4 loss, but blamed coach Frank Vogel‘s game plan more than his own play for another scoreless night.
Before Monday night’s donut, Hibbert had been abusing Miami’s small lineup inside. He averaged 22 points and 10 boards during last year’s seven-game Eastern Conference Finals against Miami. He dropped 19 points in Indy’s Game 1 win after consistently going to the line where he was 9-of-13, but despite shooting better than 53 percent from the field in Game 2 and 3, Hibbert managed just 12 and 16 points, respectively in Miami’s two prior wins. Then came last night where he was scoreless, with five rebounds and a block in 22 foul-plagued minutes.
Per ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, Hibbert explains the culprit for his 0-fer night:
“The game plan really wasn’t to utilize me as much; I’m just trying to be effective as I can,” Hibbert said. “Would I like a little bit more touches early on? Yeah. But that’s how the cookie crumbles sometimes.”
“I can only control what I can control,” Hibbert said. “I can’t control plays called for me.”
Through four games of this year’s series, Hibbert is averaging 11.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. Last year’s Conference Finals saw Hibbert average 15 shots a game. Through the first four games, he’s averaging nine shots a game with a high of 13.
Vogel wanted to see David West against surprise Heat starter Rashard Lewis, but it was Roy’s three quick “touch fouls” — as Vogel referred to them — in the first half that limited his ability to get into an offensive flow.
“I just need to be a good teammate if I don’t get looks,” Hibbert said.
Hibbert might seem like a lumbering stiff to some casual fans, but his post presence has been effective against the blitzing small ball defense the Heat play. When he sets a side screen and rolls halfway to the rim, Hibbert can be, and has been, a force against this Miami team because they don’t have anyone that can match up against his 7-2 frame. But his presence, like its been all postseason long, has been limited for long stretches, whether because of foul trouble, poor play from Roy or a different game plan from Indiana.
Does Hibbert need to be more involved in Indy’s offense?
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