The Indiana Pacers are one of the most frustrated first-place teams in NBA history. With just eight games remaining in the regular season, Indiana is poised to lock down home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. However, they closed out the month of March with an 8-9 record on Sunday and have lost five of their last seven.
This type of play won’t lead to success in the postseason, and Roy Hibbert knows it.
“Some selfish dudes in here,” Hibbert said after Friday’s loss to the Washington Wizards, per NBA.com’s David Aldridge. “Some selfish dudes. I’m tired of talking about it. We’ve been talking about it for a month.”
The Pacers scored just 78 points in that game. They followed it up with a 90-76 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday. You can’t win if you don’t score, and Hibbert seems to think the problem is that Indiana is relying too heavily on perimeter shooting.
“When I first got here, it was a perimeter team with [Mike] Dunleavy, Granger — Danny, and Troy Murphy,” he said. “Then, we got D-West. We were gonna be a power post team, wear guys out. But that’s how things are in the NBA. Things change. It is what it is.”
As Aldridge noted, the Pacers fed Hibbert early and often in a win over the Miami Heat last Wednesday. He scored 17 points in the first half and ended up taking 15 shots in the game. David West was likely making the same complaint as Hibbert when he recently said that the Pacers don’t play a good brand of basketball.
Defense typically wins in the playoffs, but the Pacers have to find a balance. If that means feeding Hibbert and West in the low post, it’s something they’ll have to work on over the next two weeks. Otherwise, their frustrations will turn into a disappointing early end to the season.