The Herald Bulletin

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Sports

May 6, 2014

Mike Lopresti: Fixing Hibbert a tall order

INDIANAPOLIS — Roy Hibbert. Sigh.

What is there left to think, or say, or do?

Criticism?

Hypnotism?

Exorcism?

It is hard to come up with anything in recent memory like it; an All-Star in winter vanishes in the spring, many nights without a trace.

It is not often to see a guy accomplish so little in the box score but get written about, talked about and tweeted about so much. Three months ago, could anyone have imagined that it would come to this?

But the Indiana Pacers need him, and that's a fact of life. Never mind the public and media chatter of lineup exile. He is a decorated 7-foot-2 center, and the Pacers are playing a Washington team that clearly intends to take the physical fight to them.

"We know this is going to be a war," Wizards coach Randy Wittman mentioned.

You do not win a war by flying a white flag from your tallest tower. Hibbert has to be a factor. Or else.

"It's not just Roy, it's all of us," Frank Vogel said Tuesday. "I've got to get him some looks to help get him going. Everybody else has to understand, he wasn't 0-for-11 last night. He was 0-for-2.

"I've got to call his number sometimes, which I called it zero times."

Still. You wonder if he's sick. You wonder if he's hurt. You wonder if he's confused. You wonder if he sleeps, thinking about it all. You wonder if a whisk broom is needed to sweep up what's left of his confidence.

You wonder if he is staying off social media. He should, in the way an antelope should avoid a lion pride. Paul George has warned him about that. Nothing good comes from it.

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