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Roy Hibbert benched for second half; Frank Vogel says he was worn down

Roy Hibbert benchThe struggling Indiana Pacers were blasted at home by the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday night for their eighth loss in their last 11 games. As possibly an even worse sign, Roy Hibbert was benched for the entire second half to supposedly rest.

Hibbert went 0-for-5 in 9 minutes and did not see the court again after committing a turnover in the second quarter. He was replaced by Ian Mahinmi, who played 17 minutes. Even Lavoy Allen saw 10 minutes.

Though Hibbert’s benching may come off as a bad thing, coach Frank Vogel was protective of his big man after the game. Vogel said Hibbert looked worn out prior to the game and that he was even considering giving him a night off anyhow.

“I considered resting Roy before tonight’s game because he looks worn down, he’s a 7-2 player that’s played every game this year, which is very rare,” Vogel said after the game via the Indianapolis Star. “He looks to me to be worn down. He’s giving good effort, but he looks to me to be worn down.”

Hibbert has played every single game for the Pacers and averaged 30 minutes per game, so maybe it was about time for Vogel to give his 7-footer the Popovich treatment. But you don’t want to do it by pulling a guy and embarrassing him; you want to do it before a game.

Maybe the Pacers will snap out of it before the playoffs begin, but they are heading in the wrong direction. Maybe their additions of Evan Turner and Andrew Bynum weren’t the best things for the team. Or maybe they just were playing their best ball at the wrong time.

Between this and some of the stuff going on in the locker room, things haven’t been great in Pacer land.

Roy Hibbert on Pacers: There’s some selfish dudes in here

Roy-Hibbert-Relaxation-ExercisesThe 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.

H/T Beyond the Buzzer

Roy Hibbert reveals how he knew LeBron wasn’t taking last shot

Roy HibbertThe Indiana Pacers beat the Miami Heat 84-83 Wednesday night after Chris Bosh airballed a shot attempt at the buzzer. Roy Hibbert was all over Bosh, making it a difficult final shot for the Heat big man.

How did Hibbert know to pop out to defend Bosh? The Pacers center says he could tell by the look on LeBron’s face that James wasn’t taking the final shot.

“I think LeBron gave it away in his face,” Hibbert said after the game. “He didn’t have that grit his teeth score-the-last-basket look. So I knew he was probably going to pass it out to Chris Bosh for a shot.”

And that’s exactly what happened. Bosh made a 3-pointer to make it a 1-point game, so it’s not like the Heat going to him for an outside shot was a bad option. But Bosh was only 3-for-11, and it’s obviously a lot easier to make a shot when you don’t have a giant 7-footer in your face.

Maybe this is a tip for LeBron to keep a poker face and not give away the offensive plans next time.

Joakim Noah thinks Roy Hibbert flopped on this play (Video)

The same day the Chicago Bulls accused the Indiana Pacers of being big floppers, Roy Hibbert may have proven why the label was justified.

During the second quarter of the game — which the Bulls won 89-77 — Joakim Noah hit Hibbert in the head from behind while defending in the paint. The replay showed that Noah definitely caught Hibbert in the head, but did he smack him hard enough to cause the massive center to go down in as much pain as he showed? Probably not.
Joakim Noah flop
Noah put his hands on his hips as if he were disgusted by Hibbert’s act, shook his head, and then he looked over at his bench for commiseration.

What’s ironic is that before the game, Bulls forward Taj Gibson said the Pacers had a lot of floppers.

“There’s a lot of floppers’’ on the Pacers, Roy Hibbert told teammate David West that Gibson said.

“That’s who said it, D-West! Taj called us floppers,’’ Hibbert said. ‘‘I haven’t taken a charge in probably four years. He’s entitled to his opinion. I’m just going to play hard.’’

Just play hard? Noah definitely disagrees. There was a flop there for sure.

Video via Ball is Life

Roy Hibbert drains 3-pointer like it ain’t no thang

Roy Hibbert

Roy HibbertRoy Hibbert — yes, that Roy Hibbert — made a 3-pointer against the Washington Wizards on Friday night, and he celebrated like he was Ray Allen and had done it 1,000 times in his career.

Hibbert, in actuality, entered the game 5-for-18 (28 percent) on threes in his career before making that one. Even though Hibbert acted like making the three was a totally normally occurrence, he had more fun with it after the game.

GIF via The Score

Roy Hibbert is hearing that Andrew Bynum wants to go to Clippers or Heat

Andrew BynumThe Cleveland Cavaliers are going to have a difficult time trading Andrew Bynum before the Feb. 20 trade deadline. From the sound of it, there are very few — if any — teams in the NBA that have interest in rostering the 26-year-old center. And why would they? Bynum has a team-friendly contract, but it’s pretty clear he does not care about winning.

The Cavs have reportedly had discussions with the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat about potential trades involving Bynum. However, both the Lakers and Bulls would likely waive Bynum to free salary cap space if they acquired him. According to Roy Hibbert, Bynum is interested in going elsewhere.

Hibbert, who has become quite the jokester this season, was probably just taking a shot at Bynum. I can’t imagine the Heat would want to poison their championship locker room with a turd who laughs when his team loses.

It’s also worth noting that NBA rules forbid players and coaches from discussing trades involving players who are under contract with other teams, so Hibbert is flirting with tampering. If it means mocking Bynum, it’s well worth it.

Roy Hibbert calls out ESPN for posting wrong photo of him

Roy Hibbert benchIndiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert and Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum are two of the best players on two of the best teams in basketball. Their teams were off on Christmas Day, so ESPN invited the superstars to take over the @ESPNNBA Twitter handle and guest tweet during ABC’s Christmas doubleheader. It was a nice gesture from the network, but it came with a small insult toward Hibbert.

In an article promoting the Twitter takeover on ESPN.com, a photo of Pacers center Ian Mahinmi was used instead of a photo of Hibbert. ESPN got it right with McCollum, and Hibbert was not shy about calling the World Wide Leader out.

Remember last week when Hibbert photobombed the ESPN NBA crew and started making fun of Stephen A. Smith’s hair? We call this karma, Roy.