Pacers Allow Hibbert Freedom on Defense
Indiana, playing in front of a raucous crowd not seen in these parts for years, is feasting on the Heat’s situation. Instead of worrying about (Chris) Bosh, the Pacers have adjusted their defense to allow center Roy Hibbert to roam free in the paint, and he’s significantly impacting the Heat’s ability to get to the rim.
There’s no question it opened the door for Hibbert to have the best playoff game of his career, which he did with 19 points, 18 rebounds and five blocks.
“Without [Bosh] in the game, I can wander a little bit more and make the paint look a little more crowded and block more shots,” Hibbert said. “When he’s there I have to respect his ability.”
Add the Pacers’ size on the perimeter, especially the 6-foot-10 Paul George, and the matchup has suddenly swung in the underdog’s favor. (Dwyane) Wade is battling and dealing with having to get by a 6-10 guy to beat a 7-2 guy in Hibbert and doing it without his pick-and-roll partner, Bosh. The situation isn’t much different for (LeBron) James, who has been matched up with the lanky Danny Granger and George as well.