Hibbert and the Pacers represented Indiana well by taking the Miami Heat to seven games before losing in the NBA East Finals.
But as Hibbert and his teammates enter the offseason, they need to be committed to taking the team one step farther next season. Going at least to the NBA Finals, if not winning it, will be an expectation the fans will have of the team. One key for this will be to get that No. 1 seed during the regular season for the NBA playoffs. The Pacers were the No. 3 seed, but the penalty there was having to play Game 7 in Miami. One has to wonder what the outcome might have been had the game been in Indiana. The Pacers are emerging as a very good home team.
Hibbert needs to have an outstanding 82-game regular season next year and avoid late season slumps which hurt the team this season. Hibbert was up and down during the regular season for the Pacers. He played in 79 games, started all of them, and averaged 28.7 minutes, 11.9 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.6 blocks and 1.4 assists per game, while shooting 44.8 percent from the floor and 74.1 percent in free throws. Those figures closely match what he’s done in his five-year NBA career, although the rebounds were a lot higher this season.
In the playoffs, Hibbert picked up his game significantly with 36.5 minutes, 17.0 points, 9.9 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game, while shooting 51.1 percent from the floor. His series against the Heat was incredible. He averaged 39.7 minutes, 22.1 points, 10.4 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game. If he played like that during the regular season, the Pacers would be the NBA team to beat.