Through the early part of the season, the Indiana Pacers look like one of the better young teams in the league. They are off to an impressive 7-3 start, and much of that can be credited to the improved play of center Roy Hibbert, who is just barely short of averaging a double-double per game with 14.1 points and 9.9 rebounds. The season is young, but those numbers are the highest of Hibbert’s four-year career. What, then, is the big man’s new secret? If you ask him, calming down has been the key to Hibbert’s early-season success.
“I’ve been doing, as crazy as it might sound, a lot of relaxation exercises to try and change my temperament,” Hibbert said according to the Indianapolis Star. “Sometimes I tend to spaz out on the court. This time I’m letting things go and I’m trying to play more focused.”
We may be quick to poke fun at Hibbert for using such an approach, but as Ball Don’t Lie pointed out it may actually be working. Two seasons ago Hibbert was averaging 7.7 fouls per 36 minutes he played. This season, he is averaging only 3.2 in that same amount of time.
Perhaps relaxation exercises have allowed Hibbert to slow it down and play a more disciplined style of basketball. He is fouling less on rebounds and playing more under control. If relaxation therapy has been one of the keys to a 7-3 start, maybe some other players around the league (like the Washington Wizards) should give it a shot.Google+