Pacers ask for more from Roy Hibbert as former players crack jokes at his expense
Roy Hibbert found himself taking heat from all sides after another woeful performance during Indiana's 102-96 home loss to Washington in Game 1.
The 7-foot-2, two-time All-Star center finished with zero points (on 0-for- 2 shooting), zero rebounds, one assist, two blocks, two turnovers and five fouls on Monday, posting a team-worst minus-17 in 18 minutes of action. Meanwhile, Wizards center Marcin Gortat notched a double-double, with 12 points and 15 rebounds, while Nene added 15 points and six boards. All told, Washington finished a whopping +17 on the glass.
Of course, this was not an isolated incident for Hibbert, who averaged 5.3 points and 3.2 rebounds in April and is averaging just 4.6 points and 3.3 rebounds in the postseason. Those middling numbers almost overstate his impact. The sixth-year big man has finished with zero points and zero rebounds just seven times during his career, but three of those seven no-shows have come during the last month.
Another evening of total ineffectiveness made Hibbert the butt of a number of pithy cracks on social media.
"Me and Roy Hibbert had the same amount of points and rebounds tonight," Tracy McGrady joked on Twitter. The seven-time All-Star forward retired last year and is now pursuing a career in minor-league baseball.
Me and Roy Hibbert had the same amount of points and rebounds tonight.
— Tracy McGrady (@Real_T_Mac) May 6, 2014
Three-time All-Star Gilbert Arenas, who hasn't played in the NBA since 2012, posted a photoshop of Hibbert holding up a piece of paper with two zeroes on it to his Instagram account.
"I made the All-Star [Game] but through 3 quarters these are my stats," the caption read. The photo has since been deleted.
Of greater concern to Hibbert than those mocking jabs were the prodding statements made by his teammates.
Paul George, who finished with 18 points (on 4-for-17 shooting), six rebounds and five assists, called on Hibbert to step up.
"We need him now," George said, according to the Indianapolis Star. "I have faith that along the way he's going to find himself. But we're at the point where we're really going to need Roy and we really need him now."
David West posted 15 points and 12 rebounds, and he too called out Hibbert.
"He's got to be part of the fight," West said, according to USA Today Sports. "He's got to be part of this thing for us to go anywhere."
The Wizards now leads the series 1-0 with Game 2 set for Wednesday in Indiana. Going back to Washington down 0-2 would be a tall order for the Pacers, who never established a consistently high level of play in their seven-game first-round series with the Hawks. Hibbert managed 13 points and seven rebounds in Indiana's Game 7 victory over Atlanta, and the Pacers will need that type of effort to even this series. "I’m going to change some things up for the second game," Hibbert pledged, according to Pacers.com. "I’m going to look within myself and go out there and figure it out. ... I got to come out and be aggressive. I got to be a different Roy Hibbert than I have been."