I’m willing to bet that 80 percent of people who have read the title of this article and watched Game 1 of the Washington Wizards vs. Indiana Pacers series simply said that no, they can’t save their season.
That’s probably a pretty smart answer at this point.
As I watched the postgame press conference of Pacers’ star Paul George, he looked like he was in some sort of pain. It wasn’t really physical pain, though; it was the type of look that you get with a pain deep down in your stomach. That pain may have a whole lot to do with center Roy Hibbert.
Sure, George said all the right things about having Hibbert’s back and supporting him through this time, but did he mean it? He almost winced when he said these things.
The real reason why he was wincing when saying these things is that he knows just as well as the rest of us do that Hibbert is done. Teams have taken the time to figure him out and get under his skin during games. Hibbert literally looks lost on the basketball court during these NBA Playoffs.
Do you know what the craziest part of all this Hibbert drama is? It’s the fact that his Game 7 performance in round one, where he had 13 points, seven rebounds and five blocks, was considered his massively impressive turnaround game.
Hibbert has been disastrous, and even he knows it. The rest of the Pacers’ starting lineup put up at least solid numbers, but they are going to need George and David West to lead this team.
What’s the solution though for Hibbert and his awful postseason?
It’s pretty simple; if you’re Frank Vogel you either make a change or just get prepared for vacation. He needs to use Luis Scola or Evan Turner. Either use Scola and go with two power forwards while having Ian Mahinmi spell them, or go with a much smaller lineup and use Turner. Something has to be done, because it’s insane to keep pushing Hibbert back out there over and over again and expect him to do anything different than what he’s already been doing.
THAT is how the Pacers can save their 2014 NBA season, as well as their chances at an NBA Championship.