Just like many people will be stuffing their faces with Thanksgiving meals today, Roy Hibbert stuffed the stat sheets last night with his 10 points, 11 rebounds, and career best 11 blocks. Those 11 blocks are a franchise record as well, on the same night Paul George goes out and hits franchise record 9 three pointers. Quite a night for two young Pacer players who look to be very important pieces to this team.
For Hibbert, it’s been two great games that should get him going in the right direction. People were ready to write him off and start talking that he wasn’t worth the money. They might still be doing that, but he’s a player that the Pacers had to keep around, and with performances like last night, you can see why.
To me, the 11 blocks would be the stat that stands out. It shows that he has a presence on defense and can really alter a guy’s shot. Do that enough times, and guys won’t be coming into the lane as much. That’s especially important against a team like Miami, where they want to drive just about every time. Last night, getting those blocks help set the tone on defense that even if you beat your man into the lane, Hibbert is there standing tall ready to swat you away.
Hibbert still needs to improve the shooting touch as last night he went 3-12 from the field, but did get 4 points at the free throw line on 6 attempts. With the easy looks he can get in the post, Hibbert has to shoot better. He has such a soft touch around the basket, you would think he can hit for a higher clip. I still think he needs to continue to shoot and those shots will start falling.
But it’s been two games that Hibbert has shown what he can do. It’s these two games that give me the hope that he’s got that confidence back that he showed last season. Two games to show that he can get his name in the minds of people for an All Star consideration again. Two games to help the Pacers win that they needed to win. It’s the reason he’s worth all that time and money that has been invested in him.