It’s tough to criticize anyone on the Indiana Pacers when the team has started out 20-3. But in Monday’s 101-96 loss at home to the Detroit Pistons, it was more apparent that Roy Hibbert can come up with disappointing performances at the wrong time.
Hibbert hasn’t had a bad season, considering he’s at 13.2 points and 9.0 rebounds a game and he has had several outstanding games. But the fact that he couldn’t do much right against the Pistons shows that Hibbert continues to be occasionally inconsistent which draws concerns among the Pacers if their center can be counted upon to get that job done in their drive to make the NBA Finals. He was 2-of-12 from the floor and had two free throws for six points with only four rebounds in more than 35 minutes of action. He and the Pacers were no match for Josh Smith‘s 13-of-29 shooting and 30 points for the Pistons.
Hibbert played out of his mind a week ago in a 90-84 victory for Indiana over two-time NBA champion Miami Heat. He was 10-of-15 from the floor and 4-of-6 from the line for 24 points. He’s been shooting 48.5 percent from the floor and 78.4 percent from the free-throw line. His field goal shooting percentage needs to get better for the Pacers to continue to be a dominant team this season. When Hibbert is at his very best, the Pacers are as good as any team in the NBA. But that’s why Hibbert needs to continue to play his best basketball. He can’t afford another performance like he endured against the Pistons. Neither can the Pacers.