INDIANAPOLIS – Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning and Dikembe Mutumbo. Is it time to add Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert to the list of dominant Georgetown big men?
Hibbert, a 7’2, 260-pound third-year center out of Georgetown, would have his way inside against the Miami Heat—who were without forward/center Chris Bosh—by scoring 19 points, pulling down 18 rebounds and blocking five shots in leading the Indiana Pacers to a 94-75 victory Friday evening.
With a rare blend of size, strength, power and a deft shooting touch not normally seen in a big man not named Kevin Garnett, Kevin Love or Tim Duncan, Hibbert is proving to be a monster-sized nightmare for the Heat in the low post.
Thanks to a combination of tough inside defense and a physical frontline that features Hibbert, Danny Granger and David West, Indiana—not Miami—is one win away from a commanding 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Going into this series, not many “experts” gave the Pacers much of a chance—let alone much respect—against the star-studded Big Three from South Beach.
Bosh’s injury combined with the sudden regression of Dwayne Wade and the ever-reliable LeBron James fourth-quarter chokes in close games, has helped propel Indiana into position to shock the entire basketball world.
It seems that the slight in both the media and amongst NBA fans—may have given both Hibbert and the Pacers—who had the fifth-best record in the NBA—added fuel in this series.
Hibbert’s dominating performance Friday night was evident from the start—courtesy of a monster dunk—would continue throughout the entire game.
Thanks to the raucous Pacers crowd, Hibbert would seem to use the extra energy to make life uncomfortable in the low post for the depleted Miami Heat frontcourt.
While Wade and head coach Erik Spoelstra may have stolen the spotlight with their highly-publicized verbal exchange on the sidelines, Hibbert and the Pacers would be more than content in stealing the series instead.
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