The first half of the 2012-13 season for Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert wasn’t very good at all. He floated through a disappointing first few months shooting in the low 40 percent range. This was disappointing because not only is he a 7-foot-2 monster of a man shooting that poorly but it was after a huge contract extension the offseason before. Luckily for Hibbert and the Pacers, things eventually got better. It later came out that Hibbert suffered a hand/wrist injury in the Eastern Semifinals playoff series against the Miami Heat and never had it treated. The injury caused Hibbert trouble all the way up until around the All-Star break, and when the injury subsided, so did Big Roy’s poor performances.
Hibbert went on to have a pretty good second half of the season, finishing the regular season averaging 11.9 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks per game. Not too impressed? You haven’t heard Hibbert’s numbers in the playoffs just yet.
Throughout the whole playoffs, no one could guard Hibbert. He had his best series against the Heat, averaging about 22 points and 10 rebounds a game. He finished the 2013 playoffs averaging 17 points and 9.9 rebounds a game.
Hibbert carrying momentum over from the end of last season isn’t at all why I see him having a breakout season. It is his will to improve. As Hibbert has grown as an NBA player, you can see he has matured greatly. He’s bigger, better, faster, and stronger. One way he’s shown he wants to improve is how he’s been spending his time this offseason.
For the second year in a row, Hibbert went down to San Antonio to work out with legendary big man, Tim Duncan. Hibbert posted a picture on his Instagram just after finishing his workout, which showed us another big difference in Hibbert from last season.
Big Roy is bigger! It is obvious by looking at this picture that the Pacers’ big man has spent a fair amount of his summer building up his arms and chest. A much more dominant physical stature, the will to win, and no injuries slowing down his offensive production all could lead to a huge season for Mr. Hibbert.
The past few seasons, Roy has been considered in the top 3 for best center in the league, but after this offseason, he could easily be a nominee for best center in the league. We’ll all have to wait and see when the 2013-14 NBA season begins.