Roy Hibbert, welcome to the playoffs.
After being held scoreless in three of his last five games – and without a rebound in two of his last five games – Hibbert almost single-handedly led the Pacers to victory over the Wizards in Game 2 on Wednesday. The beleaguered behemoth had 28 points and nine rebounds in the 86-82 win, as Indiana tied the series, 1-1.
So, who is Roy Hibbert? Is he the guy who finished with zero points and zero rebounds in Game 1, or is he the guy who looked like an unstoppable force in Game 2?
“Ideally, he’s somewhere in the middle,” Sporting News NBA writer Sean Deveney said on Ferrall on the Bench. “Ideally, he’s giving you 12 to 14 points and eight to 10 rebounds and really controlling the paint (and) blocking shots. That’s who he is traditionally. We haven’t seen that version of him very often. You probably don’t need him scoring 20 points a game, but what you would like to see is for him to show the energy that he showed on the defensive end. If that translates into points on the offensive end, that’s great. But really, he’s just got to be somewhat of a factor on offense – but more (importantly), (he’s got) to show high energy on defense.”
In other playoff action, the Clippers lost Game 2 to the Thunder, 112-101, on Wednesday. Still, they head back to Los Angeles with home-court advantage – and, potentially, a whole legion of fans they didn’t previously have.
“I think that there is a sense that they handled (it) as well as they could have,” Deveney said of the Donald Sterling fiasco. “That they did sort of unite that franchise and unite that city and unite a certain section of the country that considers themselves NBA fans and knows what Donald Sterling is and knows what Donald Sterling is about. The Clippers sort of brought everybody together.
“I don’t know that it necessarily helps them or anything like that. I don’t know that (it) factors in once they step on the floor. But I do think (there’s a) feeling of relief.”
Sterling, meanwhile, may wind up suing the league.
“I think a way out of this is to sell (the franchise) to one of (his) kids,” Deveney said. “That might not be the most satisfactory to most people, but some (people just want Sterling gone), so that might be a way for him to keep the team in the family while also getting rid of it. I’m not sure that’s how it’ll play out, but that’s certainly a possibility.”
Regardless of what happens, Deveney feels that Adam Silver, Doc Rivers and the Clippers handled this situation as well as possible.
“I think that’s a win in itself,” Deveney said. “I think it’s a win for the NBA no matter what happens.”
While the Clippers are looking for a new owner, two other West Coast teams – the Lakers and Warriors – are looking for head coaches, as Mike D’Antoni and Mark Jackson were recently shown the door.
While Kevin Ollie is said to be a prime candidate for the Lakers, Deveney isn’t buying it. The Lakers – especially Kobe Bryant – need someone with a proven NBA track record.
“I think what you need to do is get somebody with some actual NBA credentials, somebody who’s won some NBA games, somebody who has an NBA resume like a George Karl,” Deveney said. “I think he would be exactly the right fit. I can’t imagine that they would go out and hire a college coach or an assistant who hasn’t accomplished anything.”
As for the Warriors, they fired Jackson after one of the most successful seasons in franchise history. The dismissal was hardly results-based, however, as Jackson reportedly clashed with ownership.
“When it came time to pull the trigger, he didn’t have any allies,” Deveney said. “That’s what it came down to.”