The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Sports Columns

May 9, 2014

Can Hibbert continue improvement?

Here the Indiana Pacers are again, having dodged another crisis. What is it about this team that it needs a state of emergency — its figurative hair on fire — to find its way?

They lose game 1, win game 2. So now what happens today in Game 3 in Washington against the Wizards? Times being what they are, no one could possibly have any idea.

“We just don’t have the same consistency we had to start the season off,” Paul George said. “Which is frustrating. We’re digging ourselves into holes at the wrong time. This is when we’ve got to play the most consistent basketball of our season.”

Consistent? The Pacers? Are you kidding?

Which brings us to Roy Hibbert. The very face of Indiana’s wandering ways.

He’s back. Maybe. More data is needed. But we must assume the world is a brighter place for him at the moment.

As the criticism caved in on him, what was he to do? How was he to answer?

On Monday, after the personal disaster that had been Game 1, he sat in Frank Vogel’s office for an hour, talking things through.

On Tuesday, he went fishing for two hours on Paul George’s boat. “We didn’t talk about basketball,” he would say a day later, in the glow of reclamation. “We talked about life, and tried to catch some bass.

“He got my mind off things.”

On Wednesday before the game, he was lost mostly in his own thoughts, and sense of mission.

“He probably said five words yesterday. We didn’t hear his voice today,” David West said. “I thought his body language was a little different.

“I think he just made up his mind that he was going to be a presence.”

And all those boos, coast to coast?

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Should the Pacers match Portland's offer sheet to center Roy Hibbert?

Yes, Hibbert is important to the team and the community
No, four years and $58 million is too much
Not sure, I like Hibbert but think the money could be better spent elsewhere
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